E-Books?

If you were to ask me, I’d give you the age-old spiel about how books are always better than their movie counterparts. Further than this, I’d tell you how I think traditional books are better than e-books. Nothing compares to the feeling of holding the books in your hands, of watching your books age with you, of the smell of ink on paper and bookstores.

 

Nevertheless, I am a reader and I’ll read a novel in any form, meaning I’ve tried all methods. I can confidently say that there are pros and cons to each, and it’s not easy to choose which you prefer.

 

 

E-Books Traditional Books
Pros Cons Pros Cons
1.     Easier to travel with

2.     Travel with multiple books

3.     Eco-Friendly

4.     Cheaper (sometimes free!)

5.     Customizable

1.     Not every book has an e-book copy

2.     The light from the screen can cause eye-strain (though e-reader companies have made efforts to minimize this)

3.     Batteries die

 

1.     The feel of the paper in your hands

2.     Little to no eye strain

3.     More resilient – slight water damage won’t damage a book like it might a device

4.     Second-hand books are quite cheap

5.     Books in general are available widely

1.     Not easily portable

2.     Take up space to store

3.     You need a light to read

4.     Books deteriorate

5.     Not eco-friendly

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I have a huge problem choosing between e-books and regular books. On one hand, I care greatly for the environment. On the other, I’m very sentimental and absolutely love the feelings associated with reading an actual book.

 

Ultimately, I don’t think it matters how you read, as long as you read.

Failure

Failure, the ultimate fear. A lot of fears stem from a fear of failure. A fear of taking risks, of putting yourself out in the world, of going against a plan, are all because you don’t want to fail.

But the fact is that failure is a part of life, and we have to know how to deal with it.

For the longest time, I refused to do anything for the fear of failing at it. I convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to accomplish anything and that I’d fail at anything I tried.

Eventually, my desire to be active in my school and my community overtook my fear of failing and I could not be happier about it.

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If I were still holding onto my fear, I would not be writing to you right now. I would not have won my Gold Medal for English. I would not have won the award for Most Thoughtful poem at my school. I would not have done anything noteworthy, and I’d have nothing to be proud of.

I recently ran for Vice President of the Student Council in my high school, a position I’ve wanted since the sixth grade. I lost, by a few votes, to someone who might not even want the position as much as I do. Regardless, he has it and I don’t, and now I have to learn to deal with the fact that I was not chosen by my peers.

I was heartbroken, obviously. My sixth grade self had all her hopes crushed inside of me. My saving grace has been the knowledge that I am not less just because of this one failure. I’ve been repeating this over and over to myself:

“Failing to accomplish this does not erase all my other accomplishments. I am still successful as a whole.”

You need to realize that failure is inevitable. You then need to realize that you need to keep workin on your dreams and your goals and put the past behind you. The only way to recover from being knocked down is to get back up.

In times of doubt, remember the age old saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Radeeyah Karodia, Head Blogger

 

Feminism, Misandry, Misogyny

I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve heard the phrase “I am not a feminist’ out of the mouths of women. It’s absurd, because if anyone should be an advocate for women’s equality, it should be women! So then, I ask questions.

“But do you think women should be paid the same as men?” “Yes.”

“And do you think women should be credited for their achievements in the same way men are?” “Yes.”

“Then you are a feminist!” I say.

“But I don’t hate men!” they reply.

Hating men is not feminism. The belief that women are better than men is not feminism. Putting down men to raise up women is not feminism.

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Feminism is the fight for equal rights and treatment for women, me, and everyone in between. Feminism is the belief that women deserve to be paid the same as men. It’s the belief that men and women are on equal footing and deserve to be treated as such.

Someone who believes that women are better than men is a misandrist, someone who practices misandry. Misandry is the opposite of misogyny, which is the belief that men are better than women, and those who practice it are called misogynists.

Feminists work to empower women and girls so that they feel safe in a male-dominated environment where misogyny often makes them feel unsafe. Feminism does not erase men, but it does say that they should respect women in the same way that women should respect men.

In addition, feminism preaches that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of gender, social class, nationality, race, skin color, age, sexual orientation, or anything else that might divide us if we let it.

For teenagers to not be feminists is dangerous. It guarantees that society will always run on the basis that women are overlooked in favor of men. Society will always be racist, rape culture will always exist, media will always Photoshop ads and stereotypes will always be perpetuated.

Women will never get the same treatment, the same pay, the same respect as men if our generation does not step up and make the change ourselves. Men will always be held to damaging social expectations that don’t necessarily define them.

The only way to do that is to identify ourselves as feminists who believe in equality. Feminism is for everybody.

Teenagers have a responsibility to educate those who came before us and those who will come after us. Our little siblings, our parents, our future kids. The change starts with us.

Radeeyah Karodia, Blog Manager

 

Suicide Talk

In today’s society, teens are more depressed and anxious as ever. Because this phenomenon is so widespread, it becomes easy for teens to dismiss it.
Making jokes about the way we feel is a coping mechanism. Constantly bagging on ourselves and making jokes about how we ‘just want to die haha’ are ways for us to handle the overwhelming emotions we’re going through.
Still, this does not mean these issues aren’t serious. In fact, it might point to the complete opposite.
We have become so used to using self-depreciating jokes as a way to cope and we’re so used to watching our friends use them that we can’t tell the difference between who actually needs help and who doesn’t.
In addition, its become commonplace for us to tell our friends to ‘kill themselves’ jokingly. As if suicide is a way to solve all problems, big and small. As if suicide is a joking matter and is never a permanent ending.
The internet is crawling with edgy poems about heartbreak and anxiety and being depressed. They paint a picture of a beautiful girl crying in the dark. Later on, a boy comes into her life and ‘saves her’ and all of a sudden her depression is nonexistent. That is not real life.
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Our generation glorifies and romanticizes and dismisses suicide because we’ve been told it’s not as serious as we make it seem. We make jokes and taunt each other without considering what might be going on in the background.
The glorification of suicide is a major problem in our generation that nobody seems to be able to face head-on. Too many of us look at it as a joke, as something to joke around with. Meanwhile, suicide rates are rising and our peers are screaming for help in the form of sarcasm and somebody needs to take notice.