Learning to let go.

These past couple of months (or past month, I guess…) have been really hard for me with dealing with stuff. I’ve always said that I’m okay and I’m fine but in reality I’m not, and I think a large majority of people have noticed that.

Since the start of the year things haven’t been how I had expected them to be, and it’s both good and bad. Good, because some really good things happened and bad, because along with good things, bad things happened.

And for the past month, I’ve been trying really hard to let go of some of the good and bad things that have happened… and long story short, it involved some feelings where I’ve never felt (and I’m not good with dealing with feelings and emotions) and… well, a person.

To some people, the way I deal with stuff might seem very self destructive (and honestly, it kind of is), but also a little part of how I deal with stuff, aside from the self destructive things, really does help.

But, one thing that I’ve really been struggling with is letting go… of this person. The sad part about this whole situation is that I let myself be happy based on this person (it’s sad, not necessarily a bad thing though). It’s sad because I never thought I would let myself have someone dictate how much I feel, and not necessarily about that person, but about really everything. It’s sad because, even though (in the grand scheme of things)  the time that they were in my life was very short, I still let myself feel so strongly about them as I did. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but now that I can’t feel that way about them, that’s what makes me sad. (I think that’s what I’m trying to say.) (Also, side note: This person is still in my life, but not in the way that I wanted them to be in… I think that I’m still glad that they are in my life, but it’s also bittersweet.)

So in the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying very hard to let go of this person. But, every time that I seem to, a little piece of me seems to stop me from letting them go and I get sad and hurt again. I’m not sure what that’s trying to tell me, but it’s starting to really mess with me. So with this, some people might not feel that I am working on letting this person go in the way that needs to be done, but rather still trying to cling to them (or whatever people might think). And, that’s not what I want to do.

I think that some of what I’ve been doing to let this person go has been working, but then there’s that small piece of me where I can’t seem to. I don’t know if it’s subconscious or whatever it is, but I really am trying. It’s just very difficult for me to do so because of how bad I am at dealing with feelings and emotions and all of that.

But, all I can really do is take it one step at a time. This person seems to have made it clear that they’ve let me go (in the sense that I’m talking about), so in reality, I shouldn’t let them have that control over how to feel. (Should I have let them have the control over how I feel in the first place? Well, that’s for another time…)

Anyhow, I’ll probably write more about this and related topics, because it’s seemed to really help.

First Amendment Rights for Student Journalists

Often times student journalists are censored for “controversial” stories, whether the topics of the story is truly controversial or not. However, this censorship of student journalists is a gross misjustice of their First Amendment rights.

However, before I get too far into my thoughts on the First Amendment rights for student journalists, here is some background information on two court cases that have played a huge role in student journalist First Amendment rights:

The first major case was the Tinker v. Des Moines case in 1969. Three teenagers wore black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. However, the school deemed the armbands as unfit, suspended the students because of that. The parents of the students seemed this was unfit and brought it to court. The Supreme Court recognized, in this case, that the First Amendments rights protects expression. The result of the Tinker v. Des Moines case means that principals and school administrators can not censor something because they do not like it. The school has to show substantial proof that there will be disruption.

The second major case is the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case in 1988. The decision of this case completely undoes the rights gained from Tinker. The Supreme Court limits the First Amendment protection for student speech in school sponsored student media. In years since the Hazelwood ruling, it has allowed schools all over the U.S. the right to prior review (allowing school administrators or anyone of authority outside of an editorial staff demanding that they be allowed to read – preview – copy prior to publication and/or distribution) and censorship to school funded student publications. This opened the door for more censorship, which in turn lead students having to censor themselves in order to avoid censorship from the school administrators, principal, etc.

Since 1988, 10 states were successful in enacting laws after the Hazelwood ruling, 23 states tried without success. From 2016-2017, 18 states have efforts to pass a bill to protect student rights. Thus with passing this bill, student journalists would regain their previously restricted First Amendment rights.

My own state, Arizona, currently has a bill that was just recently passed into House (SB 1384) that states “a student journalist may exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media.” This bill was introduced by Senator Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix; former student journalist) and would place limitations on what school administrators can censor form student publications. If this bill is passed it would mean that my First Amendment rights would be reinstated in my journalism classroom. It would mean the end of censorship of “controversial” stories.

But why have student journalists’ not been able to have their First Amendment rights? Why has it taken this long to gain them?

Well, to answer the first part: Student journalists were not able to have their First Amendment rights because their journalism class and newspaper (by extension) was school/district funded. The school had the power of prior review, prior restraint (suppression of material that would be published or broadcast, on the grounds that it is libelous or harmful), and ultimately censorship – which is a violation of the student journalists First Amendment part (particularly to part of freedom of speech and freedom of press). But, since the newspaper is funded through the school/district and distributed on school property, they ultimately have the “power” of censorship.

To answer the second part of the question of why it has taken so long on gaining these rights: people fear the power of giving student journalists, and even students in general, of their full First Amendment rights and strip a few at the school gates. Now, I am not saying every single person feels this way, but obviously enough do in order to restrain a students First Amendment rights. When the Columbine shooting happened in 1999, it only reinstated and heightened the fear that people felt in protecting the rights of students. (Sidenote: I included this because in the efforts of passing the bill on protecting a student journalists’ First Amendent rights, there was a dry spell between Arkansas in 1994 and Oregon in 2007.) They thought it would be far easier and ultimately “safer” to vastly restrain a students First Amendment rights than to have be student be able to exercise their rights and understand how they work.

Thus, with the fact of restraining a student journalists’ First Amendment rights, it poses the question of: How can civics be taught at school but then down the hall have the students First Amendment rights restricted down the hall?

By revoking a student journalists First Amendment rights, it does absolutely nothing in helping them to understand their rights they have outside a school or university. Schools and universities should have a Tinker standard (Tinker standard: states that students have the right of free speech unless it disrupts class work or abuses the rights of others) for students because after all, aren’t student journalists’ still deserving of their basic First Amendment rights (freedom of speech and freedom of press)? Don’t student journalists’ deserve the right of uncensored publications so they understand how their rights work?

Where will I be when you are no longer around?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the not so distance future… and how a large majority of my friends will be graduating at the end of this school year.

And if it’s anything like last year, which I have a small fear that it might be, I will never speak to a majority of these people… and that kind of scares me.

I’m really happy that my friends are at this point in their life, they’ve worked so hard to be here and they deserve to be done with high school. They deserve to move on, as such is life.

Moving on will happen whether I like it or not… and no matter how hard I try to convince myself that I’m not bothered by the fact that I won’t see these people everyday, I am bothered by it. Every time a senior friend of mine talks about graduation or college or anything in the future I get sad… then I feel guilty for feeling sad.

Since I feel guilty for feeling sad I’ve never voiced this to anyone except maybe Kris, but now trying to recall conversations of this with her that’s not even coming up.

So, where will I be when you are no longer around?

Will I be moved on from the majority of my senior friends having graduated? Will I still be sad and feeling guilty? Will I be in this weird state of limbo?

I guess only moving on will tell… but then moving on means finding out and I tend to run from my problems, whether that be emotions, confrontation, or anything else.

Overthinking

Overthinking. It’s one of the things that I do best. I can, and most likely will, overthink anything and everything from the look that the girl in Bio gave me to what my mom told me on the ride to school to if people genuinely like me or if a cameraman is going to jump out from behind a wall and someone yells “YOU JUST GOT PUNK’D!”

Some of my overthinking comes from my irrational fears, but nonetheless I overthink these things until I’m a mess.

I can’t seem to turn my brain off. I just end up overthinking things and overthinking about overthinking and how overthinking is just pointless. Then I overthink that. It’s a vicious cycle. And I know that most of my overthinking won’t happen, that it’s just too unrealistic to happen.

But then is it?

Maybe a cameraman will jump out from behind a randomly placed fake ficus and “YOU JUST GOT PUNK’D!” will rain down on me.

Anyways, these are the things I (over)think about and I might do another blog post expanding on this but I just wanted to share my scattered thoughts on this.