In our day and age, many things are expected of the next generation. But the most relevant and important of them is most likely college. It's effort is dreaded by many, but almost mandatory as well. As a high schooler myself, it isn't uncommon to find any flaws in our "perfect system". In fact, it's almost annoying at times. The tedious application to the maiming the perfect grade point average is most likely the most stressful part of the teenage youth. And it is one of my goals to get rid of this flawed system that we call a "process".
As a member of our youth, and occasionally pessimistic society, teens regularly admit to the corrupt mess of the college process. The heavy amounts of stress weigh down the hopes of a bright future as many motivations, and grade point average, declines. Of course this is where our assigned counselors take action. Or should I say, attempt to. Not to bash on counselors, they are highly trained and qualified for what they do, however, as trained as they may be they don't seem to know any better than I do on what to do. Any questions asked to these professionals are almost vague and not necessarily assuring to our situations. Of course, not everyone can be hand held, but hopefully most can at least get some direction.
Many of my counselors have little to no idea who I, their student, even am. I am a number, an unknown, another student on their attendance list. I understand that teachers have hundreds of students, and sometimes are not familiar with them, however, their job is more teaching and education based compared to social interaction and attention to students lives. The downside is that our counselors are a huge and vital part of our college application process. Whether it be from college recommendations or application information, their input is necessary for your success. As a student, my question is how to engage in interaction with a counselor that I see less often than a teacher.
Again, this is not a "counselor bashing session" because I can acknowledge that we both share a common enemy, the process itself. It's tedious and almost unnecessary. First is finding a school that fits you. Whether it be personality based, location, academic, or financially. College is very different from high school considering the obvious fact that you get to choose your own path from here on out. Simply finding a college that fits you is work itself. College tours, mailed brochures, and constant emails from various schools persuade students daily. For many, their choice is almost always financially based. Location being a factor, and occasionally majors not even seriously considered. Students will find themselves pushed in one way or another depending on those around them, also adding to the stress.
However annoying the choosing of a college may be, it is almost nothing compared to the period of time waiting for a college to chose you. Many things get weighed into the life changing decision: ACT/SAT, GPA, Classes, Extra curriculars’, Jobs, Essay's, recommendations, and more. Of course, they don't make it easier. Unfortunately, competition is real, and often ridiculous. Not only do they require this much from 16 year olds, but they expect perfection. Of course there are perfect students out there. But i doubt, they are the majority. Everyone makes mistakes and is flawed in their own ways, and it's almost beyond unfair that one test, or one bad grade could make or break your future. Scholarships refused from lack of community service when instead you were maintaining you 4.0. Applications turned down when you got a lower score on your ACT or SAT when you're time was committed to community service for experience of your major. These situations are growing absurd considering the growing amount of students applying to said schools don't have many other options. Community college is always a second option, however, can be as unappealing to not go to college altogether. This fact is disappointing. But unfortunately future jobs and careers can be tortured from the fact of going to a community school, mostly because professionals look at the school as a way of not making it to a four year school or being unqualified.
The essay portion is yet another disappointment of the application process. Of course, every student dreads the idea of bragging or overegsagerting on minor details of ones life. Community service, mission trips, all valid and up for conversation on regular days. But in the college world, reviewers find the idea boring, drab, and unnecessary. This is terrifying to many students. Few experience serious life changing trauma that can make or break a growing person. Life altering diseases, sickness in the family, or personal issues can make colleges run to certain students. And the idea frightens students. If one doesn't have a dramatic noteworthy experience, teens start to panic and over stress about having the perfect story to alter colleges minds if they do not have specific grade point average or ACT/SAT score.
The terror of college has not always been this way obviously. Of course during the millennial era, college wasn't even always considered, and if it was, qualifications were way lower than our modern day requirements. Parents attempt to understand what their children go through, however it is nowhere near the extent that is shown.
It is unfair, the issues and stress that teens go through for a simple transition into college, however, complaining about the issues have not done justice. Bringing the stress to attention will hopefully show those around us that the process is corrupt and unfortunate. In the near future, hopefully, college could be more accessible and affordable to students. But that dream is distant. With the right amount of motivation, students will find where they belong without stressing over minor unnecessary details. Hopefully, this will spread the awareness to others of the annoyance and stress that college causes, but inspire new goals.
If you are anything like me and you absolutely dread the brutal Chicago winter season that leaves you shivering under 1000 blankets on your couch, dreaming of the beautiful fall weather that left you all too soon, naturally you are going to turn to your TV for comfort and support. That’s right people don’t act like you are about to leave your house on a cold January evening when your snuggie is waiting patiently for your warm embrace and the corner spot on the couch is free for your taking. Besides, no one meets people in the winter, the cold is horrible for your complexion and sweaters don't do anybody justice. No worries, there’s nothing wrong with hibernating for a few months out of the year and what’s a better way to pass the time than a few hours of mind numbing Netflix binge-sessions. So here I prescribe to you the perfect solution for your Winter blues, your seasonal depression and your lonely heart: my recommended Top 3 Netflix original series to binge on.
#1 --The Get Down
Written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and a group of collaborators including Oscar-winner Catherine Martin, legendary MC Nas, Grandmaster Flash, play writer Stephen Adly Guirgis, and hip-hop historian Nelson George; The Get Down is a beautiful combination of music, art & culture, teenage-love, political drama and crime. The show is set in the South Bronx, NYC circa 1977 and is centered on the high-school student Ezekiel (Justice Smith), who is presumably the rap superstar performing at the 1996 Madison Square Garden concert featured at the beginning of each episode (Actor: Daveed Diggs lip-syncing to songs written by Executive producer Nas). For Ezekiel hip-hop does not yet exist because Disco was the glossy, new popular style of music in the late 1970’s and Zeke’s love interest Mylene (Herizen Guardiola) wants nothing more than to make it in the industry and hopefully become the next Donna Summer. Hoping to use his poetic talents and leadership skills to escape the bronx, Ezekiel navigates the musical world experimenting with a new technique used by popular DJ Grandmaster Flash (Mamoudou Athie) utilizing multiple turntables in order to repeat a continuous rhythm from other peoples records. At the same time Ezequiel gets caught up in a political campaign as he struggles to represent the ghettos youth in a time period of political and economic turmoil in New York City. The show does an excellent job of keeping the audience historically grounded with old, grainy documentary footage showing tragic visuals of buildings going up in flames, the crime and chaos-causing NYC blackout of ‘77 and the famous Ed Koch tough-on-crime campaign to be mayor (to name a few). Ultimately, The Get Down does an excellent job of showcasing hip-hop culture as it becomes more prevalent in the music scene and is shown through a charming group of kids played by an allstar cast as they graffiti, DJ, breakdance, and emcee their way to stardom.
#2 Masters of None
Produced by and starring as the lead role Aziz Ansari plays thirty-year-old Dev from New York City in his new series Masters of None. The premise of the show is based on Devs dating life and his career as an actor, although he finds himself best known for his Go-Gurt commercials. Overall, Masters of None discusses what it’s like to be a single, career-driven American living in a big city, but the show dives into many other themes including minority representation in the media and being a first generation American. Dev has a lot to say about the discrimination that exists in TV and media especially after he is asked to do “a fake Indian accent” during several auditions for a show, which he refuses to do. Unlike the completely outrageous, comically materialistic and immature character Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec Aziz has played in the past, Dev in Masters of none has such an endearing humility and good-guy nature he becomes an entirely relatable and loveable character. The show is emotional, honest, comical and progressive. I found myself laughing out loud one minute and introspective the next. All in all, this netflix original series does a great job at depicting modern life and the social issues we face in an increasingly technological world. For anyone who can't get enough of Aziz Ansari's comedic genius I strongly recommend you check out his stand up comedy performances on Netflix as well because they cover similar themes as seen in his show.
#3 Stranger Things
Stranger Things is supernatural fiction, thriller set in the 1980’s in a small town of Indiana. The first episode is centered around a group of kids Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb Mclaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Mike (finn wolfhard who all hang out and play dungeons and dragons. These kids are so nerdy and hilarious you easily fall in love with each character right away. One night, on their way home from an intense game, Will mysteriously “disappears” or is taken by a disturbing supernatural creature from an unknown world. Now with the whole town involved in the investigation and Will’s mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) and the gang of boys need to work together to help save Will. Luckily they find help along the way from a mysterious girl named eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who possesses supernatural powers and can use “the force” and an unconventional police investigator Chief Hopper (David Harbour). As the investigation continues the group begins to unravel more and more mysteries, sketchy government experiments and unnerving supernatural forces. Although stranger things is the perfect thriller with all its twists and turns it also touches on the more sensitive themes of friendship, death/grief, young love and social isolation. The characters are extremely dynamic and you get to know each one to such a satisfying extent in only 8 episodes. The mysteries are fantastic and because the plot is so outlandish you can never predict where the show will take you next. Overall, I appreciate the fact that the show manages to balance horror and humor in such a perfect combination. At times any particular event can be horrible, sad and disturbing but you find yourself grinning and smiling along with the heros in all their childish glory. I finished all eight episodes in a single night and I can’t wait for season 2!
What is Mac’s Music Matchup you may ask.
Well, it is a comparison of two albums from some of my favorite artists, old or new. Star ratings out of 5, my breakdown of my favorite tracks, tracklists, final comparisons, and similar artists to the topic.
By Mac Most
Another One 4/5
Mac DeMarco’s , Another One, was released in August of 2015. Although it did not blow up into the mainstream alternative-indie top charts, but Mac DeMarco’s mini-LP is one that will continue to be sold in record stores to any and all indie fans in years to come. Although it’s nothing huge, it’s incredibly surreal sounding. If you’ve ever been cliff diving, this LP would be a perfect soundtrack to the GoPro video you took there. If you can imagine and enjoy head bopping Lo-Fi guitar, with some ocean breeze sounds in the back on some tracks, and not too sappy romantic lyrics your bound to like DeMarco’s piece. He doesn’t completely change his sound from Salad Day’s but some variance is only a good thing.
The tracks consist of:
Johnny’s Odyssey of Salad Days, an instrumental closing song is a great way to end it. DeMarco does it again with “My House by the Water” an easy song to listen to going to sleep ending your day. As well on that track, he leaves his address in New York, offering any and all listeners a coffee. At the end of the day, I could’ve used a couple more songs.
Salad Days 4.5/5
Salad Days, the album that Mac DeMarco was first introduced to me. If you don’t listen to my show (Sunday 3-5), you now know I am a big fan of Mac. His second album, was released April of 2014. Well organized, composed and written, Salad Days is one of DeMarco’s best. Self-proclaimed indie-jazz, DeMarco brings back to life retro sounds with plenty of guitar effects and high pitched vocals. A true masterpiece, Salad Days is a personal favorite.
The tracks consist of :
What makes Salad Days superior to Another One, while both well written and executed by DeMarco, is how deep it runs. There is no weak point in Salad Day’s except for maybe the title track. With more and more listens Salad Day’s will become one of your favorites. Another One’s star power, such as “The Way You’d Love Her” is strong but outnumbered by Salad Days. If Mac DeMarco asked me which album is better he would know now.
Listen to my favorite of the 2 albums, I’ve Been Waiting For Her, off Another One
With an incredibly unique sound, It is hard to find artists similar to Mac DeMarco but I found a few for you to listen to if you liked what you heard above.
King Krule (Guitar, Fast Paced, Jazz-Indie, Strong Vocals, Strong Red Hair)
Favorite Song: A Lizard State
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (Guitar, Wide Vocals, Weird Indie)
Favorite Song: Round and Round
Ty Segall (Guitar, Medium Paced, Psychedelia-Indie, High Pitched Vocals)
Favorite Song: The Singer
Kurt Vile (Guitar, Medium Paced, Country-Indie, Varied Vocals
Favorite Song: Pretty Pimpin’
This is the first establishment of Mac’s Music Matchups. Please, if you liked this, continue to check wltl.net for more and other blogs, videos, and podcasts.
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