Bittersweet Goodbye

Today, I said goodbye to my favorite coffee shop– Kidd Coffee on Tylersville. Yes, there is another Kidd Coffee in downtown Mason, but it is just not the same. At the Kidd Coffee on Tylersville, the baristas always greeted me with a warm smile and knew my order without even having to ask. I typically went through the drive thru on my way to babysitting, a friend’s house or school function, but today, I decided to bring my laptop, sit inside and work on college application as it was Kidd’s last day of business. I ordered a milky way frappachiller, took a seat and pulled out my laptop. After one hour of working on college apps and witnessing regulars walk in and out to say their final goodbyes, an old man with glasses and thin, white hair strolled in. His name was Bob; all the baristas knew him by name. He ordered a cappuccino and Tiffany, a barista and chef, cut him a piece of her homemade tiramisu. Bob offered to order the girls a pizza for their last day of hard work, but they respectfully declined. After retrieving his coffee and dessert, Bob took a seat across from me at the long, wooden table with a for sale post-it note sticking to it.

“I’ve never seen you here before,” Bob glanced at me. “Do you come here often?”

“I do,” I responded politely. “But, I usually go through the drive thru.”

“Oh, you shouldn’t do that all the time. Sometimes you just need to take a second for yourself.”

He was right. In a simple greeting with a stranger, I was hit with a much needed realization. I am so consumed with accomplishing so much in one day that I never take a second to breathe. I’m always working, doing homework and college applications, traveling from place to place and trying to please others that I never take a second for myself. It’s hard in this day and age to just stop what you’re doing and reflect on yourself, but we all need it.

I chatted with Bob for almost an hour about college, traveling the world and experiencing as much as I can when I’m young. Truly, living everyday to the fullest.

“I can tell just by talking to you in this short amount of time that you’re so open-minded,” Bob told me.

When he said that, I took it to heart. I try my hardest to keep an open mind and open heart because this world is constantly changing and there is so much of it I haven’t seen yet. There are so many people I have not met, so many places I have not seen and so many memories I have yet to make. My conversation with Bob got me really excited for my future because I have no clue where I am going to attend college or what I am going to end up doing in life, but I know I am excited. I know I need to reflect on myself and what I want before I figure out where I am going to end up. It is a confusing and stressful time, but I am excited about it.

As we were departing, Bob said to me, “Good luck, Meghan. Maybe, I will see you at another coffee shop in the future.”

I don’t know what my future holds, but I am sure of one thing: I will find another coffee shop to relax inside and just take a second for myself to breathe.

Who are you?

When “they” say that high school is all about discovering who you are, “they” are completely and unmistakably right.

High school has a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, curveballs that you never saw coming your way. Expect the unexpected. Speaking from three years of experience, I can definitely say that I’ve had my fair share of surprises– good and bad. I’ve also had my expected trials and difficulties, like the stress of aiming for an 89.5% to get in A in that one grueling class or the voice inside my head telling me I need to fit in with all the other teenagers. But, the truth is high school is not all about the grades, the popularity, and the sporting events. It’s about a lot more than that. It’s about a lot more than the present.

Who we are and who we decide to become in high school shapes us for our entire future. Sure, people can change, but high school is the time to change. We’re faced with challenges everyday and how we respond to them is important. Though it may not seem relevant at the time, these are your choices you’re making and you have to be able to live with them.

It starts with the littlest thing. Someone could ask you to send them the answers to the homework and even though your mind is telling you no, you send the answers anyway. Is this who you are and who you want to be? Peer pressure is extremely impactful and is hard to say no to. When everyone is drinking and doing drugs, it seems easy to comply and join in. But, all in all, what’s the point?

What’s the point of doing things that you hate just to fit in? High school is only four years, so make them count and make a difference. Stop wasting time on people that don’t care about your well-being. Stop chasing boys (or girls) that will only lead you down the wrong path. Stop hating yourself for your mistakes.

This is what I think: screw up, make mistakes, and burn bridges now if that’s what you want. Because once you graduate and join the real world, you have to get it together. I find myself asking time and time again, “Who am I?” And now that I have suffered through the pain and fear of being myself, I let go of the popularity contest and stopped trying to be a perfect person in an imperfect world. I started to find happiness and joy in the things and people that I love.

The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Who am I?” I hope you find your answer. Stop chasing pavement and start living. Find joy in what makes you happy. Because in the end, no one is going to remember you when you fit in with the crowd and couldn’t make the decision to be yourself. It may take time, but you will find yourself after all the heartache, pain, and suffering has passed. High school may be the most difficult four years of your life, but finding yourself will be worth it all.

SEARCH FOR COLLEGE ROOMATES SIMILAR TO ONLINE DATING

Meghan Pottle | Staff Writer

It’s the next eHarmony, Match.com, and OkCupid–it’s the search for a college roommate.

Every year, incoming college freshmen have the choice to be randomly matched with a roommate or search for a roommate online on their own. The thought of being randomly assigned with a roommate scares some students, forcing them to go out on their own in search for someone with similar interests and routines.

Toni Greenslade-Smith is the Director of Housing Administration at the Ohio State University and said that OSU offers students the opportunity to go out and search for roommates, but many come back and decide to be matched randomly.

“We have profile questions that we ask them to complete in the housing contract that we will use to match them with a student if they don’t find a roommate,” Greenslade-Smith said. “We ask their preference for overnight guests: are they neat or messy, are they an early morning person or a night person? Based on those responses, we put students together.”

Several colleges, such as the University of Cincinnati and OSU, have Facebook pages and groups that incoming freshmen can join in hopes of connecting with other students online. Incoming students can post short biographies and information about themselves, similar to the kind of information you would find on an online dating website.

Senior Maddie Solimini plans to attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall and is rooming in a quad with three roommates that she found online.

“After I applied, I just joined the Facebook pages just to kind of look around and see what people were posting and get an idea of what I should say,” Solimini said. “It was actually really nerve-racking because I didn’t want to say something and make it sound weird or wrong and make people not want to room with me. But, I just said some of my hobbies and what I like to do and my personality in a nutshell.”

Senior Brooke White is attending Miami University next year and said she found her roommate by putting her basic information on the Miami Facebook page.

“It’s just kind of a weird experience because you will have random people message you and they’re trying to get to know you, but it is over messaging so you don’t really know what they are like,” White said. “You put a profile out and then people start messaging you and I think that’s what they do on online dating, so it’s very similar to that. It’s scary how similar it is.”

Greenslade-Smith also said that searching for a college roommate is somewhat like online dating because it is about students finding the right fit and being more upfront.

“For example, we had an issue that developed where we had two students that met each other on social media, thought they got along real well, asked to be roommates, we put them together. Well, one has to sleep with the window open. She never told her roommate that, which if it doesn’t come up in conversation, it might not be something you think about, but it drove the roommate crazy. We ended up having to process a room change,” Greenslade-Smith said. “It’s just one of those things, the more forthcoming students can be about their habits, what they’re like, what they’re looking for, and that kind of thing, the better off they’re going to be as we look to put them together.”

mpottle.chronicle@gmail.com

Search for college roomates similar to online dating

TV SHOWS INSPIRE STUDENT CAREER CHOICES

Meghan Pottle | Staff Writer

The next Meredith Grey or Olivia Pope could be roaming the halls of Mason High School right now.

From crime scene investigations to dramatic surgeries, television shows are influencing young viewers to pursue specific career fields because of how they are portrayed on television.

The popular medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy is known for its high drama, seemingly impossible surgeries and romances. Freshman Erin Breuer said she wants to be an orthopeadic surgeon because of Grey’s Anatomy.

“I know it is fake, but it just seems like a really fun career to have,” Breuer said. “Like helping people, even though you can’t help everybody, you can help a lot of people and that is something I would like to do.”

Breuer said she learned different qualities to have as a surgeon from Grey’s Anatomy, such as multitasking and being more patient.

“From it, I’ve learned and I have looked things

up after the show to learn what it is, so I know a lot of things about it,” Breuer said. “If there was someone who had a bursting appendix, I would look up what the procedure was and how you can tell how to do it. And also, taking out their pancreas, a kidney, or a liver.”

Crime dramas are popular on TV which has influenced many to consider careers in crime sciences. Senior Jordyn Mitchell said she aspires to be like the crisis fixer, Olivia Pope, who runs her own consulting firm in the drama series, Scandal.

“I was like ‘Wow, that’s such a cool job to do’, (to) help people, but she does it through politics and big personnels,” Mitchell said. “So I was like ‘What if I do the same thing but with athletes?’ I could handle all of these situations, it would be so cool, and Olivia Pope is my life goal.”

Mitchell plans on pursuing sports management, then going to law school to become a sports agent. Mitchell said even though Scandal is a fictional series, there are some real world aspects of it that  appeal to her.

“I like the fact that she owns her own business and she runs stuff,” Mitchell said. “So it is like more of a family than a business. I feel like that’s a real life aspect.”

mpottle.chronicle@gmail.com

MHS Lip Dub

On January 29th, Mason High School released its lip dub to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and kick off our Pasta for Pennies campaign. The release of the lip dub was long awaited and anticipated by the students and faculty of Mason and let me just tell you; it was worth the wait. The lip dub was everything that everyone hoped it would be and I witnessed many people tearing up at just watching the video. It’s amazing how much awareness and donations we can raise when we all come together to create something that is bigger than us. William Mason High School is the biggest high school in Ohio and we all joined together in hopes of helping such an important cause. I can truthfully say that I am proud to be a comet. Let’s make this go viral.

STUDENT BAND TAKES ONE STEP CLOSER TO MAKING IT BIG

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From left to right: Owen Tidd, Will Morris, Jack Davidson, and Luke Cornett. Photo Edited by Visual Editor Madison Krell

Senior Owen Tidd formed the band, Big Korea, initially in 2013 and is the only member left from the original lineup. Big Korea released their first “Welcome” extended play (EP) online on December 9, 2015 and handed out CDs.

Tidd plays guitar and sings vocals on the album, Luke Cornett plays guitar, Jack Davidson plays bass, and Jacob Steinhauer plays all percussion. Tidd said the unique band name, Big Korea, came to him in a dream.

“There’s a half-human, half-tiger familiar that approached me in a dream and bestowed upon me the information that Big Korea was the key to our destiny,” Tidd said. “I heeded its words and the first step of the plan has been put into action.”

Tidd wrote and performed the “Welcome” EP with his bandmates, while Mason graduate Jacob Steinhauer worked on the mixing and mastering as a producer. “Welcome” has four songs on the album titled The Mirror, Little Car, Old Nick, and Jam Song.

Junior Jack Davidson said that after the release of their album, he received mostly positive feedback, but is also open to constructive criticism.

“I don’t feel like people are going to give us criticism because I feel like a lot of people don’t feel like they’re in the place to do that,” Davidson said. “My math teacher gave us a lot of feedback on our production and stuff like that, which I really appreciated. If more people could do that and give their two sense, that’d be pretty cool.”

Big Korea plans to perform as much as they can in the future, as well as produce more albums and songs.

“We’re going to perform a series of house shows in Brighton and Over the Rhine and we’re also performing an album release show with this band in mid-February, so information will come on that soon,” Tidd said. “We’re going to try to open for tri-state bands. As of now, we are just going to try to release as many albums as possible and we’re not going to stop…ever.”

To listen to the album, click here.

mpottle.chronicle@gmail.com

The Worst of Times and the Best of Times

I have to say these past few months have been some of the worst times of my life. Before you jump to conclusions, I’m going to ask you to finish reading this blog post. High school is hard enough as it is, trying to fit in and stand out all at the same time. It was the first semester of my junior year, the most important year that is said to determine your future. It was a lot of stress. I was stressing over grades, my reputation, the future. I grew apart from those that I was closest to and felt completely alone, singled out. I stopped going to church as often because I was “too tired” or “had a lot of homework.” Excuses. I pretended not to care what others thought about me, but in reality, I did. I started to lose passion and motivation to do the things I love and used to come so easy to me. I felt as if my gifts weren’t appreciated and wouldn’t help me in the grand scheme of things. I witnessed loss and pain and suffering happen to good people– some of the best people. How was that fair? I had no idea– I still have no idea– what I want to do with my life, like where will I go to college? What will I grow up to be? The little things. Then, there were the big things. I made some of the worst decisions I have ever made. And the worst part is, I chose them consciously and knew the consequences. I became the person I didn’t want to be. I was ashamed and embarrassed and lost. But, I refused to wallow 0r pity myself, which made my situation even harder. Then, bad things happened to me that I had absolutely no control over. What was I to do then? My world was collapsing– or that’s what it seemed like. It was like I lost a piece of myself.

I have to say these past few months have been some of the best times of my life. You’re probably wondering how the worst times of my life could somehow become the best times, it’s an antithesis really. But, that’s just how life works, isn’t it? We learn from our mistakes and it might take months for us to realize it, but those mistakes were made for our own good. Over these past few months, I made several mistakes and I lost myself for a while. But, I formed relationships with people and became closer with friends that really changed my life. I vowed to become the best person I could possibly be and find the good in everyone, so I prayed for my enemies, even though it was difficult. I decided to fill myself with joy. Happiness comes and goes at times, but joy will always be there if you allow it. If you invest yourself in Jesus, you will never be alone. If you ask for forgiveness for your mistakes and your sins, you will be forgiven, even if they’re the worst mistakes you’ve ever made. There’s still time to change your life around. The world is a confusing place and it’s hard not to conform to the ways of society, but anything is possible. I think that’s what I lost sight of over these past few months; hope. Hope for a future, hope for forgiveness, hope for love and respect. But, suddenly without my noticing, I found myself. I was lost and then I was found. And it may seem cheesy and condescending to you that I tore myself apart just to realize that I became better person, but that’s the truth. I thought I was ruined and could never be forgiven for my own conscious decisions, but it’s truly amazing how God’s love works. It’s unconditional. When you’re looking for everything that proves your world is collapsing, you lose sight of the good, important things. Bad things happen to everybody, we have no control over it, that’s just how it is. Yet, it’s how we use those trials to better ourselves in our faith that truly matters. I must say I grew in my faith immensely over these past few months. I still have a long way to go, but at least I’m moving. I still am repenting for my sins, but I feel His love and forgiveness working inside me.

This isn’t meant to be a post that says ‘see ya 2015, I’m looking forward to this new year!’ It’s quite the opposite. I want to say that I’m happy where I am. I’m taking back my life one day at a time, living in the present. I know God has plans for my future and is in control, so there is nothing to be worried about. These past few months have been extremely eye opening and life changing, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I talked about the year 2015 and embraced my past, but the past is in the past. I have hope. I’m healing. I’m choosing to live now.

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. [Luke 17:33]