Top 5 life changing moments of 2013


1. Visiting Boston

In November, I went with my journalism class to a national high school journalism convention in Boston. It was an amazing experience that really helped me realize what it would be like to live outside of California.

Staying for a week, in an unknown city across the country gives you a sense of independence you have to experience to understand. While, we were there, I was fortunate enough to participate in a feature-writing competition in which I received an honorable mention.

I will never forget Boston, it helped me build relationships with friends, learn new journalism techniques, and most importantly, it helped me grow as a young adult. The whole trip really gave me a glimpse into what my future may be like.

2. Introduced to the idea of college abroad

Ever since I was little, I had my heart set on attending USC. I was destined to be a trojan. That is until, I was introduced to an idea. An idea that changed my entire sixteen years of heart-set USC attitude to dust.

The idea of going to spend university in the United Kingdom. Now, I am constantly praying and researching London schools. It’s weird to think that I was so determined to attend college in southern California and now I can’t even imagine myself next to the beach. All I can picture is the rain, snow and cold weather. I don’t want to think of a school without accents. It’s funny how my idea of a perfect college went around 360 degrees, even across the world.

3. Marina and the Diamonds Concert

One thing you should know about me- I’m obsessed with going to concerts. I’ve seen over 30 bands in my short life, but by far, the Marina and the Diamonds concert on May 6 in San Francisco was the most significant. Before this, I had only gone to concerts with a parent chaperone, always somewhere to watch me.

This was my first experience going to a concert with a friend and myself. I never really knew what it would be like to be an unaccompanied minor in such a big place with people a lot older than me. But, the whole atmosphere was exhilarating. Since then, I’ve been to three other concerts without supervision. I think that the Marina concert was a turning stone in my dad and I’s trust relationship.

4. Visited South Central LA for a week

Going to South Central Los Angeles for a week of my summer was probably the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It helped me realize that there is so much more to life than this suburbia I live in.

White picket fences and Starbucks were what I was accustomed to walking into the city. While there, I had the amazing opportunities to tour a homeless shelter in Squid Roe, visit a parolee rehabilitation place, have a two-hour conversation with a teenager trying to avoid the gang life, and build a staircase in the backyard of a halfway home. I spent the week sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of a local gym, a shower every other day, and numerous chores after every meal, but it was still the most fun I had had in a long time.

5. My mother went to jail

March 24th my mother was arrested for driving under the influence. She was on her way to pick me up from school when she veered off the road and into the island. It was a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs that took her into a tree.

Once I figured out about it, from a phone call from a police officer while I was waiting after school, I went into shock. It didn’t really affect me like it should have. I should have been devastated but instead I had the cruel thought of, ‘It was bound to happen eventually.’ My mother had a pretty serious alcohol abuse problem so when she finally got busted I guess I was a little happy? Like I had been expecting it for a while.

Anyways, it was a pretty-life changing event. Come May and she was in a women’s correctional facility. Come September, she was out and back at her house. Since then there have been countless meetings she has had to attend, sobriety classes, drug tests and a suspended license. I mean, the only real effect it had on me was now it’s 20 times more difficult to find rides to places considering my dad works full time and that I’ve never really told anyone besides my family and friends. So, this is the first time I’ve ever wrote about it.