Category Archives: Dani’s Download

Those Hurtful Little Comments

Those little comments..they truly do hurt.

Bullying is something that presents itself in every child’s life at one point or another. Sometimes it’s the unfortunate event of being bullied by someone, or it’s the event in which you have the option of bullying another person. The question becomes, “What is bullying?” and “How does it present itself?”.

One automatically imagines the scene of this big kid picking on a helpless little boy by the lockers at school. Although this unfortunately can be the case, it can occur in many different ways, in many different environments, and to many different people.

One might experience the effects of bullying in public settings as they’re trying to do something they enjoy. Others might experience it online with the increase use of social media platforms to communicate with one another.

When it comes to who the person actually saying those hateful comments is, you never know. Teens often think that the people closest to them could never say rude comments, or put them down.

Sadly, those teens are mistaken. Even though it is a sad thought, the people that we call our close friends can surprise us and show us their true character when they start to make certain negative comments over time. The comments said by those who you trust most, are the comments that are likely to stick with you and the ones that are likely to shape who you are as an individual. People might think that those “little jokes” mean nothing, but little do they know that a person can be genuinely hurt on the inside. My advice is just to be an all around kind person.

Be mindful of the things you are saying to the people around you, and know that those words have the power to really affect others.

~Dani

A Lazy Generation

One of the things we often hear being used as an adjective to describe Millenials and Generation Z members, such as myself, is the term lazy. We hear it all too often from just about every generation before us.

Although this claim might have some truth to it, it is not entirely correct.

We are often depicted as kids who rarely leave their homes, or kids that simply don’t have the drive to pursue their dreams. Today it’s not uncommon to have kids linger at home well into their twenties while they try to “find themselves.”  In fact, many of us are actually trying really hard to accomplish our goals and make those dreams come true. The reality is there are many distractions in our lives that previous generations never had to deal with.

Sadly, sometimes these distractions prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. This time spent doing things with less relevance, has created the misperception that we are a “lazy” generation.

As I have previously mentioned, I believe that social media and technology at our disposal on a constant basis can be very beneficial but it can also be one of the major distractions to our productivity. It can cause us to lose sight of our important responsibilities and our goals for the future. I know that I often lose track of time when I scroll through Instagram. This problem occurs for many other kids my age. My parents often point out the hours I’m potentially wasting on these social media platforms rather than focusing on schoolwork or other projects. I don’t think it has anything to do with how lazy we are, or anything to do with our work ethic.

I am certain that generations before had plenty of other distractions in their day. Maybe it was playing stickball on the street or hanging out to listen to music. Regardless, I do think that we can do better, and, that if social media wasn’t so darned entertaining, it would be easier for us to stay focused. As a result, we wouldn’t be considered such “slackers”.

As a challenge for the teens out there reading this right now, I suggest you turn off your phones, log out of your social media accounts, and go focus on your goals. Although it might seem like a difficult task, we need to prove to those around us—and to ourselves— that we are so much more than a “lazy generation”.

-Dani

What Makes Your Identity..You?

The term “identity” has become our most recent topic of discussion at school. What shapes your identity? What makes you, you?

Of course, when I started thinking about it, I thought this is one heck of a topic question to pose to teens who are just starting their high school years. Once you start growing up and meeting new people, you begin to question who you truly are as a person.

How you would introduce yourself to others.

What do you like?

What do you dislike?

Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?

What makes you… well YOU?

Although it seems like a simple concept, this whole “identity” thing is pretty hard to figure out.

It’s especially hard for us teens when we want to be liked and welcomed by other people. Sometimes we struggle when it comes to being true to ourselves because we don’t know how others are going to perceive it. Take me for example; I am a young girl who has grown up in the U.S., but comes from a family of very proud “Latinos”. Thankfully I live in an area with lots of kids like me, but others aren’t as fortunate. I know that there are kids who don’t feel like they could fit in with the pure “Latin” crowd, but they also don’t really fit in with the “all-American” crowd. This idea of fitting in is something I guess we will all encounter throughout our life.

We are defined not just by our cultures but also our likes and dislikes. Incredibly, sometimes we’re even defined by those around us. Think about those movie cliches where the football player has a secret passion for theater, but he feels as though he doesn’t fit in either group. It might seem cheesy, but incidents like those occur all the time.

Finding out your identity can definitely be a difficult task, but once you start figuring it out, you gotta be proud of what makes you… well YOU!

-Dani

Here I Go Again

Here I go again….All of my life there has been one day that always manages to give me a feeling of pure fright. This day has always prevented me from sleeping the night before. I often times lay in bed and think of a million different scenarios of things that will go completely wrong.

This day is known to the world as none other than… the first day of school.

Yeah, I’m sure you were expecting me to be referring to a much more terrifying day, but I’d say this one is pretty nerve racking. For a kid, this day means the beginning of a school year with lots of exams, assignments, and projects. That’s pretty stressful in the mind of a child! Now, not only am I getting prepared for another difficult school year, but I also have the concern of making all new friends in my new school. What if I don’t really fit in? This stress-packed day is coming up very soon for me once again, and I find it fascinating how I happen to feel the same thing every year.

Even in years when I knew all my classmates and little changed. Deep down I know that the year always ends up becoming so much fun, and I end up enjoying it. Somehow my mind still manages to overthink it and it brings me back to the way I felt walking into my first day as an elementary school student. These few days before school come around and I feel as though I hear Foreigner singing the phrase “Here I Go Again”. Deep down I know everything is going to be ok, but somehow I convince myself that something might go wrong. This is something that I have been working on fixing for a while, and I know many of my close friends are feeling the same. When I start school in a couple of days, I hope to overcome my overthinking, and my goal is to not hear any rock bands singing classic songs in my mind. (;

-Dani

The Sides Of Social Media

Social media is something that has taken the world by storm. I’d say that most high school students have at least one form of social media. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, it seems to be the one thing that is constantly on our minds.

The question asked by many parents is whether this is something positive for their children or not. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer. What I do know, is that there are many pros, and certainly some cons. I’ll start off by stating that I know that I use social media as a way of contacting my friends. We have the ability to share pictures and have typed conversations over these social media apps. Without it, we feel like there’s no other way to share important moments with those close to us. You know, it’s not like we are surrounded by telephones where we can speak to them directly…;).

Truthfully, though, social media also makes us feel like active participants of others’ lives. I often use these platforms to contact family members that live outside the country. I can text them, like their posts, and watch their daily stories. Not only can social media allow us to share the happy moments in our lives, but it also lets us share events going on in real time, like tragedies, natural disasters, etc. Although those were all positive sides to social media, I want to state the very obvious fact; that we are obsessed with it!!!

Social media is usually the first thing we check when we wake up, and the last thing we look at before going to bed. We always have this constant urge to check what those around us are up to. This definitely takes up time that we could be using for more important things like family time, and academics. I’d say that a huge issue with social media, is the unrealistic lifestyles being publicized by pretty much everyone that uses it. You rarely ever see posts about the difficulties in life, but rather posts about how people are “living the life”. This makes us long for things that would only exist in a perfect world. It could be in terms of wealth, looks, and even happiness. I often ask myself why these celebrity “influencers” are trying to “influence” us. In the end, we live in a world that is surrounded by social platforms and for us teens, it is something we are used to. The truth is, it all depends on how you choose to use it. Like everything else in life, moderation is likely the key.

-Dani 

You’re Not In This Alone

I have attended the same school all of my life. I have known the same faculty and students since I was two years of age. In a couple weeks, a big change will occur in my life. I will no longer be attending the school that I have always considered home.

I have been experiencing a rush of different feelings since my time at school has ended. There have been days of pure excitement for what’s to come, but there have also been days of uncontrollable nervousness. I think about having to become accustomed to new teachers in a completely new setting.

Thankfully, I have a group of friends—that are practically family at this point—that will be making this transition with me. In a way, we all act as a support system for one another in this time of change. When I speak to them, I notice that each and every one of them is going through the same feelings as me.

This gives me a sense of comfort to know that I have an amazing group of people that understand my feelings, and although similar to their own, they do their best to make me feel better. To be honest, I don’t know if I would be able to do it without them. I’ve noticed how much I value the relationships I’ve made throughout these past few years. This made me look back at other big events in my life, and I realized that the same group of people have always been there supporting me. They are the people that I know I can always confide in.

Just as I know that I am not alone when it comes to events going on in my life, I want others to know that they aren’t alone in theirs. Someone is experiencing the same joy, sadness, and difficulties as you. Whatever obstacle you face, know that you aren’t alone, and that you are going to make it through!

-Dani

Question Your Routine

Hey Teens!

This week I want to share something specifically with you guys.

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of my time writing and finishing up homework for the upcoming school year. This means that I have basically been locked up in my room and focused on my schoolwork. Any free time that I’ve had, I’ve used to call my friends, or catch a couple episodes of my favorite TV show. I notice myself not really interacting with family members; my little sister, in particular, often gets ignored. This is something that commonly happens. I often notice that it becomes part of my routine throughout the school year. It was really something that I never noticed until one of my friends brought it to my attention. He began to tell me about his own issues with unintentionally isolating himself from his family, and about the negative impact it had on both him and his family members. It really shocked me, that I was committing the same mistakes as him.

This really made me question my “routine” and what I should be doing with my free time. Family is such an important part of our lives, and unfortunately I am also guilty of sometimes isolating myself from them. I’d like to make a point of saying that although it is wonderful to have your form of escape, as I have mentioned previously, one must not forget the importance of bonding with family. Our loved ones take time out of their busy schedules to try and reach out to us. Sometimes we forget how incredible they are, and we fail to let them know how much we enjoy hanging out with them. Because of what my friend told me, I decided that it was time to change some of my ways. I realized that I needed to spend moments with the people I love most. Many times, we will prioritize certain things over what is truly important. Make memories with your family, and live every moment to the fullest. Go and question your “routine”.  

-Dani

Finding Your Escape

Music has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Growing up, music was essential at every family gathering. Some days all we would listen to was Spanish ballads. Other times, all you could hear was Brian May’s iconic guitar solos coming from the speakers.

I grew up listening to musicians that are mostly unknown to kids my age. Imagine an eight year old, in this day and age, trying to explain to her friends how much she would love to turn back time to get a chance to meet John, Paul, George, or Ringo.

Guess what… I was, and still am, that kid. At first, I fell in love with this music because of its upbeat and fun rhythm. Now that I’m older, I’ve fallen in love with it once more because of the lyrics that always find a way of touching my heart. In some ways, this music seems like the one thing that never ceases to “understand” me.

The most exciting part of my day is putting on my headphones to listen to musical classics. Whether I’m sad, angry, or just bored, these songs always find a way of acting like a kind of “escape” from anything going on in my life.

Over the summer, I have been spending a lot of time with my friends. I noticed that not one of them feels the same way that I do about music. What I did notice was that all of them had their own form of “escape“ (oddly none of these included Freddie Mercury’s vocals). Some use sports as their escape, while others explore more creative escapes like drawing or actually playing music. I find it fascinating that all of us go through similar things in life, yet each of us have a different way of escaping into our own passion. This made me think about how everyone should find something that makes them feel good. Something small that they are excited about doing. Whether it’s drawing a beautiful portrait or just jamming out to your favorite song, try and make time for it.

I also want to let the adults out there know, that although these activities might seem like distractions for your kids, they can be very positive for us.  Go out and find your escape! 

-Dani

The Truth Is…We Love You

The Truth is…We Love You

Dear Moms,

Being a teenager is difficult, or at least we think it is.

Some of us spend every moment of our lives stressing about our “responsibilities” and keeping up with popular trends. Others spend their time stressing about their follower count and how to be “in” with the cool crowd. Both are some of the countless things that we prioritize in life.

While all of this is going through our minds, we sometimes lose sight of what truly matters and the people who truly care about us. In these moments, we often push ourselves away because we feel that no adult could understand what we’re going through (because obviously they were never teens… right?). When we feel this way, we’ll say some things that we really regret afterwards. We yell, we argue, and we don’t listen. We become so blind sometimes, that we don’t acknowledge the effort and love that you put in to try and make us feel better.

What can I say? We are typical teens. Although it may not seem like it, we appreciate what you do for us. I want to tell each and every one you that we notice. We notice the small deeds you do to put smiles on our faces when we need it most. We notice the sacrifices you make, to make our problems seem insignificant. We notice you reaching out to try and bond with us. The reason behind our distance, is our stubbornness.

The truth is… we love you!

We love the way you have our back. We love the way you can’t help but want to protect us from any harm. We love the fact that you are always willing to listen. To all the moms reading this right now, I want to let you know that you are Wonder Women. On behalf of all the teens, we are extremely sorry for being such pains in the bottom.

The truth is… WE LOVE YOU!

-Dani