The first three months of my freshman year have been challenging. There are the expected adjustments that come with having lived my entire life in Greenville , Ohio USA , a small farm town of approximately 13,000 people, and then overnight, moving here, living in the capital city of England with a population in the millions. More than that, college is like its own country, possessing its unique culture and traditions. My study habits, my patterns for eating, cleaning my room, and exercising have all changed to suit the current climate. Now – it may sound crazy, but I have found that I enjoy this sleep-deprived period in my life. The labor it takes to adjust and thrive – just suits me fine. It’s also caused me to reflect on so many things.
For years, I have penned articles and works of fiction that I hoped would help me build a career in creative writing. I’m lucky to have been given a voice in newspapers that can reach a global audience and speak at various public forums from a young age of nine. But then I hear about a young teen, Malala Yousafzai, shot simply because she thinks girls should have an opportunity to have a good education. The road to her dreams, and so many others in the same predicament, is more obstacle-filled than I can imagine. I just hope and pray for her speedy recovery. She has come to England to receive further treatment for her gunshot wounds.
Incidents like what happened to Malala, make me grateful to come from a nation where our rights were secured so long ago. November 11th was Veteran’s Day, and while our soldiers never fought specifically for women’s rights, they have worked to gain the freedom of speech, press, and religion for all of us living in the United States . They sacrificed their lives to end the conflict of the World Wars, and have attempted to put an end to tyranny and terrorism in many places across the globe.
As a kid, I used to dream about having super powers like the Sailor Scouts or Power Rangers— not knowing that there were heroes out there, who were even more awesome for being made out of flesh and bone. They go into each fight not sure that they are going to make it, but believing in their cause so much that it spurs them forward. The more I learn in school about the injustices of the past, the more it opens my eyes to exactly how good we have it. Many people may rail about our current economic or political situation, but the truth is that our good life was secured a long time ago and paid in blood by those people who gave everything to create our present, their future. Buried beneath the words of this article are all the people who toiled in order that I might write about it— that I might write about anything I wanted to without fear of persecution.
Standing on the shores of another country, I feel that I am honoring them as well as I could do at home, because here I have a sense of all that has been done to bring me to this point. I think the best way to honor and thank our Veterans— and all the soldiers we have in our lives— is by living out our most sought-off dreams, to exercise all those rights that they fought so valiantly for.