Public vs Private

     I have a friend who is considering going to a Private High School. Since I attended a private school for my first two years of high school he asked me what the differences between the two are. To start by making this decision one has to realize that they’ll be doing work wherever they go so do not make this decision based on what might be easier.

     I will start with private school because I only just started going to public school and have more to say about private. Going into a school where you do not know anyone is very scary and it was very hard for me to find a friend group that I liked because there were just so many kids. Personally I really only found my solid group of friends after being at the school for about a year. Despite not really having a lot of friends private school is not necessarily harder than a public school it’s just that the workload increases. If you are planning on going to a fairly reputable private school make sure you are ready for at least four to five hours of homework per night on top of sports and travel time. The workload is one of the main reasons why I left my private school. I did not do bad at my old school, but the amount of work made my anxiety spiral out of control. Another thing to expect when you enter a private high school is expect teachers and faculty to be much stricter. At a private school the teachers and staff will get you in trouble for anything and everything especially dress code. However, there are some perks to going to a private school. One of which is that all of the teachers care about the students and that they comprehend what they’re learning. Whereas at a public school some of the teachers care while others do not. At my old school I really liked the religious aspect of the school and learning about the history of my religion among other things. This may not be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed the religious and spiritual aspect of my old school. A final thing that I liked about my old school is meeting people from all over the state and making friends from different towns that I never would have met otherwise. Going to a private high school for two years allowed me to broaden my social connections to people I otherwise would have never known.

     Public school on the other hand is a lot different. For one at a public school I feel more free and open to express myself and my personality. Whereas at my old private school I always felt that I had to be stoic and proper. Another aspect of public school that I like is that the classroom is more fun and I get to have fun and make memories throughout my school day instead of having a teacher lecture for fifty minutes about some dead guy. The transfer process into my public high school was a lot easier and better than the transfer process into the private school. At the private school it was more like you came in and you were basically alone and had to figure out the school and school dynamics on your own. At my public school there was more of a process that brought me and the rest of the transfer students into the school and put us in groups and let us meet and talk to each other, which allowed me to meet new people before the year even started. A final aspect of public school that I like better than private school is the whole sense of community that I feel at school. What I mean by this is that I get to go to school and make memories with all of my friends that I’ve known since I was little. Then I can reflect back on them in twenty plus years with a smile. Also at private school there was no such thing as a pep rally, a spirit week, or anything that really showed emotion. The idea of an entire school coming together and having fun is incredible to me even if it is only once a year. Things like fun, liveliness, and school spirit are the stark differences between my public and private school experiences.

     Reflecting back now I still do not know if transferring was right for me because there are perks and drawbacks of both schools. The reason why I left the private high school is because while on my outreach trip to New Orleans I had an epiphany that I did not have to go to school scared and anxious all the time and that I could be myself. If you are considering going to a private high school or transferring out of one do not just base your decision off of what I’ve said. Talk to people who go to both schools and people like me who have made the switch. Take time and ask yourself what you really want out of your high school experience. #askmatt  

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The Difference a Year can Make

     For this post I am responding to a more personal question. One of my friends asked me to describe my two outreach experiences and what it is like going to the same location two years in a row. In my town each summer around 70 high school students are selected to go on several outreach trips around the country and this is all funded through the church. For the past two years I have gone to New Orleans, Louisiana to help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

     Nervousness, excitement, and anxious feelings are all rushing through my head at once as I leave my house at 3 am to catch a flight to New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m traveling to New Orleans with a group of teenagers from my church to help rebuild homes and lives in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Although it was almost nine years since the storm hit at the time there was still a lot of work to be done. My nervous feelings before leaving were not in anticipation for the hard work and the New Orleans weather, but for the people. At the time I was going into my sophomore year and had been attending a private school whereas all the other kids went to the public school in my town. Going on the trip I had no type of relationship with any of the kids, but I hoped that this would change and hoped that in the week that we would spend in NOLA I would be able to come home with some new friends. However, things did not work out as I had planned. Even though I can look back on my first experience in New Orleans and can think of some happy or funny memories, most of them don’t contain me. They don’t contain me because I was not the person doing something funny, I was the one sitting on the couch watching it feeling lost and alone with this group of people. Towards the end of our time in New Orleans I definitely opened up to some of the people on my trip but not enough to really consider any of them friends. Not enough that I would be able to have the confidence to say “hi” to them in a public setting and think that they would remember who I was. The feeling of loneliness and anxiety is something that clouds my memory of my first experience in NOLA. Feeling alone in a crowded room is the worst feeling that one can endure and enduring it for an entire week can only be described as hell.  

    Coming home from New Orleans my first year I began to reflect on myself and on my trip and wondered, why was I feeling so alone? Was it maybe because of a lack of confidence I have in front of new people or because I was not cool or interesting enough for any of those people to talk to? That’s a question that I may never know the answer to, but personally I knew something to do with my persona must change. I thought I must become more outgoing, talkative, and confident or I will spend the rest of my life living in a perpetual state of loneliness. So that is exactly what I did.

    A year passed and it was time to start applying for outreach again and I was genuinely surprised when I was picked to go on New Orleans for the second year in a row because this hardly ever happens. Looking around I had talked to a few people on my trip before but didn’t really know them well. The same feelings that fluttered my mind the previous year suddenly returned and lasted until our connecting flight to New Orleans. Before boarding the second our adult leader had us make a mandatory seat change that very few people listened to but for some odd reason I listened. I was now seated with two girls I barely knew, but on that flight something connected all of us. We took our seats in preparation for the flight to take off when one girl, Maggie, picked up a bag next to her seat and said, “someone left their bag of champu on the plane” the other girl, Flynn, replied with a look of shock, “Maggie, that’s throw up.” Although this discovery was disgusting and somewhat scaring, it gave us all something to talk about and broke the ice for me and Flynn especially. Throughout the week I made incredible connections with everyone and by the end of the trip could consider most of them like family. Whether it was staying up till 3am laughing about absolutely nothing or roasting the kids from South Carolina there was never a dull moment. One of the most incredible things that manifested out of that trip for me was my friendship with three amazing people, Flynn, Kelly, and Connor. Going into the trip I hated Flynn, was not friends with Connor, and was somewhat friends with Kelly. Throughout the trip we all came together, we laughed, cried, and shared a common hatred for our advisor, Sandy. This amazing friendship still holds true to this day and I can honestly say they are some of my best friends. On our last night in NOLA our entire group came together around 4am excluding the advisors and we had a heart to heart.    Throughout this heart to heart we went around in a circle explaining the demons in our lives and problems that we were facing. This output of love and emotion moved almost everyone to tears. To some these were tears of sadness and anguish, but looking back on it I feel as though those were tears of love and support from everyone in that tiny room. This might seem like a crazy idea, but since sharing my feelings and secrets with everyone the only feelings I felt after those moments were love and support. My second year in NOLA was a total 360 degree turn and was the best week of my life.

    Reflecting back on my two years in New Orleans there was a clear divide between both experiences. The first being sad and lonely while my second was full of happiness. I believe that the only reason my second trip to NOLA was different from the first because in the year between both trips I grew as a person. I grew and became more confident within myself which is why I was able to put myself out there and make many different relationships. Before going on my second trip to New Orleans I was a little bit angry because I wanted to experience a new trip. Now I believe my second trip to New Orleans was a blessing in disguise because without it I would not have made all the amazing friends that I have now. #askmatt

Skin skin skin

     Skin is an insecurity all teenages face throughout high school and for some even into college. This week I had a friend ask about skin and how to deal with the insecurity behind it. I’m sure many of us have been in a situation where we are having a conversation and all we can think about is how bad our skin looks. However, as teenagers everyone goes through this and I do not think it’s something people should really be worrying about. Also bad skin is something that you can try to tame. Personally I go to a dermatologist, skin doctor, and they give me a prescription facial cream to help control my acne. I take it a step further by having a sort of skin regimen that I do every week to help progress my skin even further. First I wash my face and then apply the mask of magnaminty from lush. According to the Lush cosmetics website the mask of magnaminty is, “Mask of Magnaminty isn’t technically a daily ‘facial wash’; it’s actually a deep cleansing face and back mask. China clay and fresh peppermint reach deep down to pull the debris from your pores, giving you that delightful tingly-clean sensation. We add loads of aduki beans to exfoliate flaky or dry skin, vanilla absolute to calm redness and honey to soothe. Our inventors created Mask of Magnaminty to be the ‘ultimate face mask’, intense but not harsh or abrasive on the skin. We recommend using Mask of Magnaminty weekly to keep the skin in good condition.” After about ten minutes I wash the mask off and then apply a facial toner  called Rodan+Fields Redefine toner to help shrink my pores and clean them out even further. Once my face is dry I put on a facial moisturizer by CeraVe to keep my skin hydrated. Finally I apply my dermatologist prescribed facial cream. I only do this routine once a week as to not be too harsh on my skin. Throughout the rest of the week I wash my face twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, with the Clear Pore Cleanser by Neutrogena and then I apply my daily moisturizer. Finally before going to bed I put on my prescribed facial cream. Most of these things are simple things that anyone can do to improve their skin, but you just have to find what works for you. Again, you should not be embarrassed by your skin because it’s something almost everyone goes through at one point or another. #askmatt    

10 years gone

     For this post I have changed the names of the people to keep their identities safe. The girl that goes to a private school will be called Sara and the public schoolgirl will be called Cindy.

     A common problem that many teens face throughout high school is problems with friendships over things that may seem small to most people. A few weeks ago one of my friends, Cindy,  asked me for advice on how to resolve a problem regarding not inviting her friend to a party and who was in the right/wrong. The story goes that there are two friends one goes to public school, Cindy,  and one goes to a private high school, Sara. Cindy was having a halloween party, but told her parents that it was a party for her club at school when really it was a party for the whole school. To make the lie more believable she provided her parents with a list of kids that would be attending and because Sara goes to private school she was not on the list. The party ensued on Halloween and when I say the whole school was there I mean literally the entire school. Unfortunately the partied ended early when the Cindy’s  parents came home and that was that.

     A few days went by and neither Cindy nor Sara  had said anything to each other. Then on that sunday, November 1st, Sara  texted Cindy and said she had just found out about the party and was mad she was not invited. Cindy then explained to her and told her that it was an open invite and she could’ve went if she wanted too. Next Cindy defended herself saying that even if Sara had come she wouldn’t have wanted to be there because she doesn’t like anyone from the public school. After this a long string of angry texts followed leading to the end of a ten year friendship.    

     In my opinion neither girl is right or wrong, they both contain validity to what they are saying. Sara has the right to be mad because she was not invited to one of her friends parties, but if she already had other plans and doesn’t like anybody at CHS then why would she want to go? Although Cindy had some valid points on why Sara should not have been as mad as she was Cindy was also somewhat in the wrong. If the party is open invite then Cindy should have just invited Sara secretly. Also even if Cindy knew that Sara already made plans for Halloween she should have invited her just out of kindness and respect. Both of these ladies were in the wrong in one way or another so I think they should just put this small fight behind them and continue being friends. A small fight like this should not cost two people ten years of friendship. #askmatt

Trouble in Paradise

     This week I received a question from a girl who has been in a relationship with the same boy since 8th grade and this year they are both going off to college and she is wondering what to do. Although I am not in any sort of relationship I believe I can still be of some help. My first piece of advice is that you need to reflect on yourself and the relationship you’re in. Do you want the relationship to survive while your at school, is the relationship strong enough to survive, and do you want to be in a relationship while you’re away. I believe that both people that are in the relationship should take time apart and think about this on their own. Both you and your boyfriend/girlfriend should write down their thoughts, ideas, and worries in a letter. Once both people have written their letters you two should come together and exchange the letters. The reasoning behind writing a letter is that sometimes it’s easier to say something in writing rather than it is saying it allowed. Also it allows both people to express their feelings in a way that there is no pressure to decide on the relationship one way or another. For example if after thinking to yourself about the idea of staying together or not and you, the girlfriend, decide you want to break up but you let your partner talk first and he wants to stay in the relationship you may feel pressure to agree with him and be in an unhappy relationship while you’re away at school. If you both come to the consensus that you want to stay in the relationship then while your at school you can keep in touch via FaceTime, texting, and phone calls. At any chance you get you can go and visit one another that is of course if the schools you both attend are not too far from one another. While at home you and your partner should hangout and catch up with one another so that the relationship doesn’t die. At school if you decide that the relationship and being apart is too much to balance then you should breakup but still remain close friends because if you’ve been together since 8th grade there is obviously some sort of connections between you too! I hope my advice can help you and your significant other figure out whatever you’re going through and my final piece of advice is to make yourself happy first! #askmatt

 

 

Proposal?

Hey everyone!! This is my second post to my blog and I finally figured out what I’m going to blog about! For the next three weeks I’m going to blog twice a week about common problems people have. For example, friend problems, fitting in, skin care, and school problems. Each week I will pick two topics to right about give a hypothetical or real situation and then I’ll give my opinion on it and how I would react. My blog will be called #askmatt and I can’t wait to share all my opinions and experiences with all of you!!

2016

Honestly this vacation I didn’t really do much at all. Most of the vacation consisted of me sleeping and catching up on other loose ends. However, when it came time for New Years and New Years resolutions I was excited to write down and make goals for the New Year. When I began talking about my personal resolutions to friends and family I realized that there are a good number of people who don’t make resolutions at all. Their argument being that nobody ever follows through on what they said they were going to do or achieve. Although goals can be silly or even impossible I think it is important that we as people have goals to keep ourselves motivated. For example, one of my goals for 2016 is to learn to do a back flip. Even though this may never happen I still put it down on my list of resolutions because it keeps me in a wishful thinking type of mindset which in turn keeps me happier and more positive. So as we all step forth into the New Year I think it is vital to our health and happiness that we all have resolutions that may or may not come true. By the way welcome to my blog!!!