I am a 14-year-old trying to find myself. If I had to describe myself in five words, they would be caring, thoughtful, active, loyal and trustworthy. I love writing as it lets me get out the one part within me which I can never talk about in verbal conversations.
Friendship- It is too complicated for a simple human. After this word enters your brain, your life can take two different turns. Number one - have an amazing life with all your friends and the hashtag of life would be #friendsforlife. Number two - you put all your love and care in them and what you get in the end is betrayal. Neither can you be with them, nor can you be without them. You simply end up as #lonerforlife. As I grew up, I always heard this acrostic poem:
F- forever with you R- respect you/ and them I- ignore you E- encourage you N- need you / and them D- deserve you S- stand by you
I never really understood this poem until my life started to revolve around it. Each friend I made stood by each of the verses of this acrostic. I made a few, I lost a few, but it was always a journey, worth, to take a risk in. I am dedicating this piece of writing to every friend I have right now, so they know how much they mean to me.
Forever with you: Did you ever regret meeting someone too late in life? I did. To be honest, I have no childhood friend because every one of them decided to leave me- except this angel. I met her just a year ago, but she knows me more than my mom too. She was with me every step I took this year. She corrected me if I was wrong and appreciated me if I was right. She encouraged me when I fell and stood by me every time I had to face a problem. How else can I thank her, then dedicating this blog to her?
Respect them: I respect every friend who decides to spend time with me. Whether to check on me or to ask me how boring quarantine has become. Whether to entertain me or choose me, out of all, to share their emotions. Guys, you mean a lot to me. I, maybe, was not the best lately, but I will make sure I become better and make you all proud. Sorry for every mistake I made and thank you for making sure I’m alright.
Ignore you: This story is so hilarious because I don’t know if we are still friends!! I met this person at the start of 8th grade. We always were in the same school but never knew each other. We met because of our interests and made us friends. We were classmates too and that made us amazing friends. To be honest, this person is the reason I met the friend who will be with me forever. We three became close, but three became two. There was a time this person shared everything but that slowly faded. We drifted apart and I very well know that this person hates me a lot. We fought a million times but what’s the use when the result is the same every time? If this person ever reads, then I hope things change. I don’t know if I am still important, but for me he is. I still treat him as my best friend.
Encourage you: This year has been pretty horrible and every minute, quitting was the only thing I thought about. Knowing that I was suffering, my friends always stood beside me, to help me feel better. There were many times when I didn’t bother to listen to them, yet they didn’t leave me. They chose to stick with me and let me get out of my horrible memories. I couldn’t be more thankful to them!!
Need you/and them: I basically need each one of my friends. Every one stood beside me all the time. But the real question is, do they need me? Lol, I’m pretty sure they might need me but there are many times when I thought of me being a burden on them. I feel I put a lot of expectations on them, or I am not being a good friend to them like I’m supposed to be. Guys, if you ever read this, tell me, because I need clarity.
Deserve you: I really don’t think anyone deserves me, again, for the same reasons. Either I am not a good friend, or I expect a lot from them. I might not take care of them or be really harsh. I very strongly believe no one deserves me. Don’t argue, don’t debate, it’s final.
Stand by you: I was waiting to reach this part of the article. All of my friends stand by me, all the time. Literally, there was this one time when my friend fought with another gang, supporting me, though it was my mistake. One friend I do have, who stands by me all the time. We fight a lot, but again the next day, we take each others’ side. We have a lot of problems to face ourselves, yet we take each others’ problems as ours. I legit thank her so much!! I exactly mentioned only three of my friends, but there are a lot more, for whom a small mention in a random article also is too small. After a long time, in this BORING quarantine, I got a chance to show all of them my gratitude and my love, so here it is- THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING MY F.R.I.E.N.D.S. YOU GUYS DESERVE MUCH MORE THAN ME, BUT FOR NOW, BEAR WITH ME!!
Author - Vedaa Choradia Student, Writer & Art Enthusiast
As an inquisitive 12 year old, Vedaa Choradia has an innate passion for writing- for when things cannot be put into words. This led her to create an art blog called 'Peach Puff; where she promotes art and benefits of art as healing. Her goal is to become a compassionate,considerate and empathetic young citizen, being a part of a global community. She hopes to take people through her experiences that can only be conveyed as writing fro self expression. Her friends would describe her as a crazy, creative and book loving person. Website: peachpuff.weebly.com
Artist: Vedaa Choradia
Things are not the same anymore.
So much of what happens in our life is based on on trust. Remembering to trust god, a higher power, an energy; discerning which people are worthy of our trust. Yet what ties us all together is the belief in something bigger than oneself; bigger than the petty problems that keep us apart, or the corny fairy tales that bind us all together. For when we place our hearts, we exercise an act of faith. Faith that requires courage and hope, a leap of confidence which is worth the risk, because it is that trust that leads to love within a community.
Then why is it that sometimes it feels like relationships within a community become so complicated? It’s like we are speaking in foreign tongues and we can’t understand each other. I wonder, what part of our failure to communicate comes from our own brokenness, and what part does my own brokenness play?
So yes, things are not the same anymore.
Humankind has come so far. Things have changed, people have changed; evolved. Is it for the better? Is that the result of insecurities getting in the way of what’s important? Crumbling the vision of what our forefathers created for us? Does that equal to the world we live in? A world which may be convoluted, confusing & unstable. But, the world which I know, is only revolving because there is more good than bad, and as an average teenage girl just writing to you on a day I know is not like any other, I wonder if good is good enough!
I think this global pandemic has made us appreciate small talk, long drives, Ice-cream sandwiches, tranquil sunsets, crying over the fate of fictional heroes, and friends and family more than ever. I know that it has given us the chance, and I know it has given me the chance to sing. Dance. Paint. Write. Recharge.
I know that it’s safe inside here than out there in the wild realm with people dying, relationships crumbling, and societies being torn apart. I know that good times passing, just means that bad times will too; this just means that Covid 19 will too, and then we can start creating the vision that we once had for our planet, and make the world calmer and saner. I know that change is inevitable, and what happened year ago, a week ago, two seconds ago is still not the same as the present, and when the world has essentially gone gaga, I hope that when we wake up tomorrow, we can create a more genuine, kind, connected and grateful world.
So here it is. My note. My promise and I hope yours too: I promise that if I want the best that the world has to offer, I will give the world my best too. I promise to support my own anxiety, and monitor my own behavior. I promise that even during these disheartening times, I will turn the pages of the book and see what life unfolds next. I ask all of you to take the time out and do things that have been in the back burner for years. It may be those Chocolate scones that you always wanted to make, or a book you wanted to read, my advice and my message, is that use this time wisely. I know that I helped during these times just by doing the things I love the most like writing and painting. I know that I helped during these times by being grateful to the ones who are tirelessly working to find a cure to this virus, or treating the ones already infected. I know that this time may never come ever again, and life is too short for petty grievances. So, live it and make it your own.
I am 13 year old girl studying in the 7th grade. I love to get my thoughts on paper and share them with the world! Other than writing my heart out, I enjoy music and art. Some day, I hope to write and publish my very own bestselling story!
To me, freedom is the liberty of making my own decisions, my own choices,and leading my life with only my choices driving me forward. Freedom is tearing down the boundaries that currently surround me and greeting my life with open hands. However, we all are enclosed with some sort of prison and enclosure that prevents us from truly cherishing the life we lead. Personally I have felt imprisoned in several ways, as a student and a person. Often as a person I wish to be free from judgement and criticism. I often feel as if I live under a microscope with people watching, constantly assessing and drawing conclusions from each step I take. From a student’s perspective, I feel imprisoned from pressure of tests and feel lost in all the information floating around in my head. I firmly believe that we should have more freedom from rules and regulations in school and only be tested on subjects of our utmost interest. All in all, life is a journey. It is a path. This path is built by us,crafted bit by bit, step by step, from each choice and decision we make. Since this path is our road to the future,it is vital that every choice we make is made by untied hands;by utmost freedom of choices. To me, freedom can be found within, but it is up to us to discover it.
As an inquisitive 12-year-old, Vedaa Choradia has an innate passion for writing and curating art that changes mindsets and generates perspectives. This has led to her creating her own art blog 'Peach Puff', that promotes art and the benefits of art as healing. Her goal is to become a compassionate, considerate and empathetic young citizen. Vedaa's friends would describe her as a crazy, creative and book-loving person!
I type and I erase, I type and I erase. I know I have to speak my mind, but something is pulling me back. Ok! I speak to you with the truth and only the truth! Life to me has not been a walk in the park, nor has it been a trip to wonderland. There are times in life when I CAN'T pick myself up, dust off whatever happened and move on.
There are times in life when I say to myself, 'STOP! THERE IS NO POINT, PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS PUT YOU DOWN!' There are times in life when I feel like giving up, when I can't get everything together, and when I am a complete wreck, but, here is what I learnt: IT'S OK! I learnt to take life as a medium to experience, find my purpose, create meaningful relationships, and fulfill my dreams and goals.
As a little girl, I always thought that genie would come on over and help me do exactly that. I mean, I never wished for fancy cars or a million dollar condo, or a ticket to Broadway, just to be the person I have always dreamt of, so, I decided to share my three wishes with you:
Wish no. 1- My first wish is an insight into a personality deeply embedded in me, just trapped by a mere armour, an armour that has suppressed my true traits and passions inside- the courage to stand up for myself. My confidence and self-esteem is high on the exterior, but inside, very few people know that I question everything I ever said, everything I ever thought and everything I ever did again and again, and when this happens, standing up for myself makes me feel insecure. Just because I doubt my values and opinions repeatedly. All this while, I have mentally internalized everything that people have said to me, but I wish that I develop the courage to learn to say no and to defend myself to all lengths. I wish to develop the courage to walk away, and instead of putting the blame on me, and criticizing myself, learn the virtues of self love and self-respect when these scenarios take place, but something happens! Let me share with you an instance - I had a very close friend, and we used to share all our secrets, and basically knew everything about each other, but one day, she shut me out. She spoke to me in a certain manner, and as the days went by, we grew apart. At this moment, I wish! I wish I could have defended myself, stood up for what I believed in, and BEEN ME. Not somebody, she wanted me to be.
Wish no. 2- I think after this happened, it was a wake up call, more of a realization. Of course, I felt sad, angry, betrayed, but I knew that after a big tub of ice cream, I needed to move on. I needed to forgive, and I think I realized that there were greater things awaiting me, and this incident was just a byproduct to make me stronger, and ready for what life was going to throw at me. I realized it was nothing more than a passing cloud, and there was no reason for me to dwell upon it. I understood how important it is to let go of grudges, to not replay the situation in my head again and again, and let me tell you, once I forgave the person, a sense of relief passed through my body, and I was on top of the world! But moving on was not only in this aspect, I think there are often times when I feel like opening new chapters but I just can't. There are memories pulling me from something I want to get out of, happy memories! I remember when I shifted schools, the first few weeks were so difficult, it still is. Of course, the atmosphere was so warm, but it felt like a magnetic pull. I had so many things ahead of me, but I was leaving quite a few things behind- I was a bag of mixed emotions. So, from this experience, I gathered my second wish- my ability to move on easily. I feel that choices are the most important, and the choice to live and let live is a huge accomplishment in itself, to be the bigger person.
Wish no. 3- My third wish is the reason why we live, breathe, think and come to conclusions- to find our purpose.Purpose of our being, why god, a higher power and an energy, intended for us to be, and how we play a role in making the world a better place to live in. To me, finding my purpose is like a map, one clue leads to the other, but it is only when you go searching for 'purpose' that things fall into place. Purpose of change- change in thought processes, change in societal norms, change in ideas and beliefs, but more than that, change in mankind with the values that we generate and take forward.
Sia is a fourth grader studying at aLphabet international school, Chennai. She loves reading books, chatting with her friends, and designing and drawing clothes for her dolls. She is the apple and the orchard of her parents eyes and a true hero to her little brother!
Hi, my name is Sia Sara Joseph. I am a 9-year-old student studying at aLphabet international school as a fourth grader. I love my school! My teachers love and take care of me so well that they are almost like family to my classmates and I feel that the care that anyone shows towards us is something that should be valued and kept precious in life.
Kindness is like a Diamond. It will reflect any source of light it can find, even at a pitch black night. Kindness works in the same way. Kind and happy people will always look at the bright side of life and try to find cheer to spread to the ones who can't find it. When dark times hover above us, kindness and happiness lead the way through the battle. Diamonds are strong. The strongest. They can cut through glass. No matter what approaches good people, they will always continue their journey on the same path. They have strength. They get more and more everyday..every lesson..every good that they do and every mistake that they make. They will battle their way through the hardest obstacles while maintaining a peaceful mind and loving heart. Diamonds are extremely precious. Yet they do not brag about their top standards. They stay humble. Kind people do the same. That is what makes them more precious in our lives.
Most of all, I have learned that kindness is a form of unity. Recently my classmates split into these groups. It pulled me and my best friend apart and hurt other children when some kids were included and others were not. I related it to what is happening around the world. Racism. This separation was thankfully not by any continental drift so we could fix it.
Some of my friends who were feeling the same way and I just talked about our feelings. We shared and were kind to one another. I did not want this to turn into a group so it became just a conversation. When we talked about it, we felt better. That gave us the confidence to kindly explain to people who were being a little rude how some of us were feeling.
It worked! Everyone apologised and understood and we all hugged and talked cheerfully as one big class again. aLphabet is a special school because it teaches us the things that is most important in life. Being good is what makes you a successful person. aLphabet trains you to be just that.
As an inquisitive 12-year-old, Vedaa Choradia has an innate passion for writing and curating art that changes mindsets and generates perspectives. This has led to her creating her own art blog 'Peach Puff', that promotes art and the benefits of art therapy. Her goal is to become a compassionate, considerate and empathetic young citizen. Vedaa's friends would describe her as a crazy, creative and book-loving person!
'Choices' - This word is often understated by individuals because we don't understand that this one simple word has the power to create, change and inspire lives. These choices are the ones that define us because in the midst of difficult situations, being brave, kind and courageous conveys to us that we are on the right track to becoming individuals that benefit society.
As a teen, I face choices everyday, some as simple as "What I am going to wear today?", to as difficult as, "Do I want to make a change in myself, and if so, what is it that I should change about myself?" You see, often teenagers don't understand that we are in the last stage, we are about to go into the real world, and that we have two choices. The first one is to be care-free and disrespectful, the average teenage description, or take this as a chance to improve ourselves and make ourselves worthy enough to be independent.
Choices are what make and break us, and often we, as teenagers tend to make hurried decisions, when we should realise that we should take some time off to work on ourselves, contemplate and come to rational decisions. After all, life is a succession of choices that defines us, curates us and makes us who we are.
Let me tell you a story that has been extremely close to my heart, a story very few people know and something that is my one and only secret. Exactly a year ago, everything in my life changed. My friends changed, my school changed and it was a whole new life that I was living, but very few people know why I changed my life the way I did. You see, before this change, something very disturbing happened to me. I had a very close group of friends and all of us really helped each other out in situations, cared for each other and loved each other truly, but in a click of a second, these friends separated themselves from me. Everything became "I, me and myself." There I was standing alone during one of my most difficult times in life. At first, they were all silly comments and jokes that I took in good spirit, but as time passed these comments turned into something I couldn't handle; it became verbal bullying. There, at that moment, perhaps I hadn't realised, but I had a choice. A choice to weep my sorrows and let them continue in a way that was eating me up inside, or stand up for myself and show them that nobody benefits from this.
It has been extremely difficult to share this story, but I wanted share with you that we all have choices but it is up to us to pick the right one. Therein lies the power of choice - a choice to be brave, a choice to love ourselves, a choice to eat what we like or dress the way we want, a choice of equality, fraternity but above all, the choice of freedom.
Divya is a 9th grade student from Our Lady's Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chetpet, who is aiming to become a Doctor. She is a very friendly and jovial girl who never misses an opportunity to offer help to people in need, her friends and other kids at Yein Udaan. She is extremely good at Arts & Crafts and has amazing leadership skills!
Yein Udaan, is an organisation which aims to work on the holistic development of underprivileged children. They run four programs for the children - academic and English language, value education, life and soft skills, and extra-curricular, while simultaneously conducting sessions to build parents’ engagement skillsin their child’s education.
Living in New York City, 14-year-old Jiya Krishnaswamy is an avid reader and Squash enthusiast. From the age of 5, her innate talent and love for Bharatnaytam has led her to actively train between New York and Chennai, during her summer holidays while she visits her Grandparents. Her friends would describe her as funny and definitely quirky!
Talking to your mom Being a teenage girl is tough. Juggling school, extra-curricular activities, homework, and friendship drama is not easy. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. But when someone does, being able to talk to your mother about it all is the best way to deal with it. Being able to talk to your mom means that they are both a friend and a parent to you. It means that they will always give you the best advice and without judgement, because your mom only wants the best for you. I know that if I have a problem, I can always talk to my mom and she’ll always make me feel better. Sure, friends are great, but at the end of the day, it’s your mom who will always be there for you unconditionally.
Social media I think that as you grow up, you can start getting more privileges as you get more responsible. For example, in the past few years, my mom and I have had many discussions about Instagram. I just got it in June, at 13 years old. Most of my friends have had it for a long time, but that didn’t change my mother’s views on me having it. She told me she trusted me and that I was responsible, but she never gave in to me for various other reasons. Finally, we made a deal, and I got it. Even now, I have time limits on Instagram and only get an hour a day. My parents follow me and check on my activity. I think having discussions with your mom about these things can help you understand their thought process better and see what goes through her head as a parent.
Restrictions and knowing their thought process My mother not letting me do something I really want to do is the most frustrating thing. However, if my mom does decide against something, knowing the reasoning behind it helps accepting it so much easier. “Because I said so” makes me want to do the opposite of what she told me, but if I know why she made that decision, and I can understand her concerns, I am more willing to listen.
Privacy and trust: I shouldn’t have to hide anything from my mom, and that’s the way we both want it to be. If I don’t hide things from my mom, there’s nothing for her to find out, and no reason for her to lose her trust in me. But at the same time, I don’t want or need her to always be looking into everything I do. For example, my mother goes through my texts, photos & Whatsapp messages. I feel that it’s unnecessary, but if that’s what she feels like she needs to do to trust me and make sure I’m using my phone responsibly, then it’s fine by me. She has also explained to me that even though she trusts me, teenagers and technology can sometimes be a bad combination so she feels the need to check on me. Since she has explained to me her reasoning, I feel like I get it more and don’t have such a huge problem with it.
Even though I want all these things from my mom, I have to remember that I also have to meet her in the middle sometimes. I also have to sacrifice things, like a little privacy, or delaying social media to make mom happy. But I know that those sacrifices are worth it for mom, because there’s no one else who loves you as much as she does (but also dad).