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Let’s Be Real: The Contents of a Great Life

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Let’s Be Real: The Contents of a Great Life

Connor Gority

Connor Gority

Morgan Bridges

Connor Gority

Morgan Bridges

Morgan Bridges

Connor Gority

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It’s never anything new to me that I question certain aspects of my life, as well the lives of my family and friends. I wonder what is in their lives that makes them the special people they are, and also the various hardships and accomplishments that they have achieved. So, in this rather special and larger Let’s Be Real column, to which I have spent many hours on, I will look into the four main aspects that must be healthily maintained to be the best person all of us can be: Family, Friends, School, and Health.

Family

Family has and always will be a huge part of your life. Parents are a key aspect of your life, just as kids are to parent’s lives. However, when the time comes and you grow into teenagers and young adults, the bridge between kid and adult must be altered to fit the ever changing personality of you and your fellow person. In the early part of childhood, you and your parents begin to grow your bonds with one another and branch out to fun and happy things. It is during these times where your parents must supply the fun and happiness because you are at a very young age are still learning and have very little avenues for memorable fun. Trips to the zoo, amusement parks, movies, and family photos can be very enjoyable things to do, and provide great access to favorites early on.

When it comes to growing up and becoming a teenager, the feeling of freedom becomes more apparent in both you and your parents. For you, it’s a feeling of being able to do most anything you want: get a job, drive a car, travel on your own, and find solace in your own favorite things. Maybe you might even get married or have your own apartment. For your parents, it’s preparing you for college and for adult life, eventually leading to you departing from their home and into your own. However, there is a shade of freedom and restrictions that should be evened out between all of you.

For parents, being too restrictive on your children might lead to stress or hate from them. Pressuring your teenager to succeed or conform to your wishes or plans can be an unstable path to take. Arguments, distaste, and overall unhappiness can be the outcomes of being too restrictive or demanding parents, not to mention higher chances of it happening again. Instead of forcing them to become what you want them to be, you as parents should encourage and support them to become what they want to be.

On the other side, being too open with what your children do could lead to other outcomes. Teens who have little to no restrictions or oversight can be exposed to things like drugs, alcohol, and other illegal activities. Also, if there’s a significant level of openness to a teen’s actions, there is the possibility of a distance growing between you and your children. There needs to be at least a small sense of dependence during a teen’s life towards you, otherwise you’ll be forgotten. It’s a good idea to not try to criticize what your kids do so harshly. If they want to go to their friends’ houses or to a couple parties, let them. Sheltered teens don’t take too well to society once they move out. Learn to be outgoing and have some fun before you leave for the bigger world.

At the end of the day, both you and your parents should stick together through thick and thin and try to enjoy every moment in life, not fight over the small things. Learn to love and love to live is how I see it.

Friends

Here’s a staple point in everyone’s lives, no matter who you are. Friends are the building blocks of society, and should be in your life every step of the way. Friends are people you can rely on, keep secrets with, share stories with, and generally live your life with. There’s so many possibilities when you have friends to interact with. Whether they be from school, work, or people you meet through other means, friends can be key in the development of your social and life skills. To me, friends are great outlets to share events or parts of my day with. I am always talking with my friends about different things, and it helps to blow off steam from the stress of the day.

Whatever you do with your friends is up to you, but always remember that the possibility of change is always in the air. Friendships grow and evolve, but they can also drift apart and end. A friend that you have known throughout your childhood could move away and lose contact with you. Maybe a person you met in class or playing video games will become your closest friend in life. There is also room for letting friends back in and knowing when to let friends go from your life. Know when to let the negative people go, even if they are close to you, friends, family, or otherwise. They’ll only drag you down in life. Only keep the positives around you.

As you grow up, your friends grow up, and you meet new ones. High school is a volatile ground for friendships to either begin or end. In my honest opinion, make friendships during your high school years. These bonds that you form with these people can hang on well into your adult life. Your friends might take an interests in your dreams and aspirations, or you to theirs. You might join in college to pursue the same majors, or learn the same skills to become partners in something bigger. My advice: keep as many of your high school friends as close as you can for as long as you can, because many years down the road, they’ll be there for you.

It is also within this section that I bring up the concept of love and relationships. Love can either be very simple or very complex depending on the people. To some who love the little things, everyday words of encouragement, a bright smile, or a home cooked meal at night are the highest forms of passion and affection. To others who pursue bigger ambitions in a relationship, marriage and the prospects of building a family come quickly and successfully. Whichever route you choose to take in the world of love, always know that there is another person in that journey as well. Work out with you lover or spouse how you are going to move, how things will go, and what you want to do when. Lean a speed in which both of you want to take things. These plans are extremely important in any successful relationship, as many rushed love stories do not end in happiness.

Most importantly, and what I think is a great piece of knowledge to know: love everybody you know, because one of those friends might become the person you spend the rest of your life with.

School

Now comes the time in your life where there are major choices to be made for your future. Your schooling years, however you may view them, are the most important years if your life. In this time, you learn and develop skills that came educate you on how to survive in the real world, or to tell you if you are ready for it. Basic knowledge such as writing, reading, mathematics, and history build up your strength. Yes, there are things that you might not want to do, but at the end of the day, the lessons you learn are going to prepare you for an even higher calling: life.

The question that is always asked is “When are we going to use this in our lives?” And to that there is never a truly honest answer. Many of the things you learn in math class teach you the basics of how money, time, and measurements work. These directly translate into anything you might do: cooking, buying products, building, travelling, or simply just managing time. However, there is knowledge that does not belong in life. Depending on what you want to do in your life, you should build a realization of what is important to hold onto, and what is worth forgetting.

I’m keeping this section short by saying this: learn hard, work hard, and always keep yourself on top. Life is a big challenge after high school, so make the best of what’s being given.

Health

This is an easy one. Health can be divided into two parts: physical and mental. Physical health, in this stage of life, is eating healthy, getting plenty of exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. Many people do not do all of these things, but there are some who do it very often and very well. Make sure to eat healthy, even if it’s just a salad at lunch or some fruit throughout the day. Put up the doughnuts and the Mountain Dew, it will only make your body put on unnecessary weight. But in the off chance that you do put on a couple pounds, head to the gym or go for a jog around town to keep yourself in shape. Working out with friends can be an even greater experience because it can lead to more experiences or chances to encourage them or yourself to do more.

Mental health is where there can be a lot of challenges. Mental health is something that nobody can really get a grasp on because it can change so rapidly and so strongly in some people. Depression, thoughts of suicide, and even a short temper are dangerous things if left unchecked and unacted upon, especially in teenagers. Say positive things to someone who is sad, flash a smile every once and while, or just do anything that would brighten somebody’s day, or yours.

My message to everyone is this: make the best of your life.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Let’s Be Real: The Contents of a Great Life”

  1. Robert Dangerfied on March 12th, 2019 12:48 pm

    good work kiddo

  2. Madison Moser on March 14th, 2019 7:44 pm

    Well said! Great article Connor!

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The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Let’s Be Real: The Contents of a Great Life