Category Archives: Opinion

Follow Your Dreams, Fight Your Fears

Syracuse University has allowed me to grow as an individual, expand my intellect ability and learn from different types of people. At school, I’ve met students with similar goals as well as those with opposite moral standings. We’ve discussed life experiences, values, and our ideal future.

In the past year I have orated my goal to copious amounts of people. I’ve reiterated it to the point where it’s almost a routine- one that’s become redundant.

“I want to be a foreign correspondent for a major news network reporting from the Middle East.”

Yes, there it is.

Being a lofty goal, I’ve been met with my critics. “The Middle East, huh?” they’ve said with a lack of confidence in my abilities. “Oh- so you want to be on the national news,” they’ve said before adding, “You know it takes a while to get there.” Followed by “the Middle East isn’t the safest place,” as though that is a form of deterrent.

I realize I have high goals, that my dreams are ones many share. I’ve had it since fourth grade, when I wrote my own newspaper “The Mistry News” and handed it out to classmates, teachers, and family friends. That was over 10 years ago, and I’m still chasing the same dream.

Well, Debbie Downers, I’m not stopping. One of the saddest things I’ve witnessed is how frequently my fellow classmates change their major to something safe because they think they can’t compete in the market they’ve dreamed of entering. I’ve seen dreamed broadway stars switch, fellow journalists switch, all to majors they know have safe jobs and comfortable lifestyles.

I don’t criticize their decisions; if they find happiness in these fields so be it. But personally, I would never be able reroute my entire life to corporate America because I know that I could make it there.

As Arthur Christopher Benson once said, “the worst sorrows in life are not in its losses and misfortunes, but its fears.”

I don’t want to be fearful that I won’t find myself reporting from the sands of the Middle East as war continues in the background. I’d rather have that energy be utilized for productive work or confidence in my abilities. I don’t want to find myself one day, in a house in suburbia, watching the Today show after dropping off my two children to school and wonder, “could I have made it there?”

Instead, I’ll spend my summer learning Arabic and reading books on economics so I can be well versed in every matter I could possibly report on. I’ll spend breaks interning at news organizations that will hone my journalistic skills. I’ll graduate college and report in small town America before ever having the chance to advance to a larger market.

It will be years before I find myself, with a camera pointed at me and a CNN microphone in my hand, saying “This is Meghan Mistry, reporting live from Saudi Arabia.” But one day I’ll get there, and that will be the time when I can remember how Jim Carrey said, “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love,” and know that my dreams were reached, and my critics put to rest.

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#YesAllWomen Should Join #YesAllWomen

 

It’s no secret to say #YesAllWomen took off. CNN has covered it, Thought Catalog released 14 of the tweets everyone should see, there are millions of tweets about it.

It’s important for our generation to fully understand #YesAllWomen. But it’s more important that it is supported, no matter the gender.

That’s why, as people continue the hashtag, as they share their voices, it isn’t ok to bash them.

I’ve seen femininsts on twitter call others “bandwagoners” for jumping into feminism. And that’s NOT right.

To say the least, you can’t be a ‘bandwagon feminist.’

Feminism isn’t restricted to women, or to those who called themselves it first. A feminist is someone who recognizes inequality, sees no gender roles, and believes in the utter and complete equality of both sexes.

That’s why it’s ok to ‘jump on’ the feminism movement.

Maybe you hadn’t seen just how subjected women are to men in today’s society. Maybe you didn’t realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with the fact that you have watch where you set your drink at a party. Maybe you didn’t realize that you could work for years at the same job as your male counterpart and earn less.

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But that is fine, you can still be a feminist.

You can accept the injustices and proclaim your voice against them. You’re not late to the movement, you’re not jumping onto it. You’re realizing that it affects you as well, and you have the right to share your opinion.

So #YesAllWomen and #YesAllMen, you’re welcome to join the movement.

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Chevrolet Donates to Cure Cancer through Purple Pictures

Purple Facebook posts and fundraising campaigns went viral today, a day that affects too many: World Cancer Day.

The day has been commemorated by Chevrolet’s one dollar to the American Cancer Society for every purple profile picture, by news source tweets, by personal testimonies. It’s devastating to scroll down a newsfeed and know so many people affected by one disease. It’s depressing to find solace in the notion that you and your experience aren’t alone, that other people went through similar events.

World Cancer Day opens the doors for people to see the strikingly powerful impact the disease has on frankly, too many people. There may be a beauty in knowing that hundreds of my friends have purple profile pictures to support a worthy cause, but what drove them to do so is painful to comprehend; parents, uncles, aunts, siblings- battling cancer, battled cancer, lost to cancer. Commemorating Facebook posts, graves with flowers, funds in their name. These honorable tributes based off memories are terrible to endure.

February Fourth brought to the Internet a cause that hurts too many, that touches too many; a disease that results in too many hospital trips, too many chemotherapy sessions, too many tears. Cancer sucks. I can’t write and advocate for change. I can’t blog and say, “we must find a cure!” We must, but I won’t be the one to do so. I won’t be the one to move everyone to the lab to discover how some rare rainforest flower can stop every form of cancer. It will be too many years until science and medicine can fix what my mom, your family member, face every day.

Until then, support the cause in the only way you can. Change your profile picture purple. One dollar-one hundred pennies- it isn’t enough for an individual cure, but it can work to finding one.

http://www.chevrolet.com/purple-roads-world-cancer-day.html

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Five Reasons to Be Alone

College freshmen are lucky to find time to themselves. With a community bathroom, a roommate and a dorm of over 400 other college students, some solidarity is often cherished.

Whether you are in your 20s or 60s, here’s five reasons why being alone is actually great.

1)   You learn independence

Being alone means learning to do things by yourself. Out in the real world, this is a harsh reality. When it comes down to it, you are truly the only one that you have. Friends come and go, family may not be around, so it is important to learn to depend on yourself and hold yourself accountable for your actions. You can’t learn this if you constantly immerse yourself in a see of wanna-be’s and other people…sometimes, you have to figure out your groove all-alone.

2)   Breaks are necessary

People can be overwhelming. They can force their ideas down your throat and alter your mindset. It is mandatory to take a step back from society and see where you really stand. Is that truly your political viewpoint? – Or did a parent or friend kind of thrust it upon you. Breaks allow for a mental cleanse, a time to truly learn about your morals and ethical stances and figure out how you’ll stand for them in times of trial.

3)   It means focusing on the future

It’s pretty much impossible to figure out where your life is headed when you never have time to think. Being alone means having personal time and space to plan out the next few days, weeks, or figure out where you want to be in a few years. To be truthful, you won’t ever figure that out with your buddies at the bar.

4)   Two words: Emotional Cleanse

If you’re anything like me, you don’t let people see you cry. By setting time aside to chill by yourself, you give you the time necessary to free yourself of the emotions bottling up. Whether this means a 6 mile run, a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s, or a box of Kleenex and P.S. I Love You; you just gave yourself time to detox from the emotions holding you down.

5)   Being alone can be fun

Being alone isn’t all learning, relaxation or productivity. Frankly, it can be a good time painting your toenails and jamming out to Beyoncé. You can stuff your face with what ever you want and no one is around to even look at your weird. Being alone means being crazy and weird and different and you. And while you can be all those things in public, sometimes it’s great to be it just by yourself.

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Beauty and Cancer

As an avid tweeter, I recently saw something on my TimeLine that hit close to home.

Another user tweeted “One of the most beautiful things in life is to see someone fight cancer.” With a mother who has stage four, metastatic breast cancer, I couldn’t have agreed less.

I’ve seen cancer change a person. As their body fights relentlessly, I’ve seen it dwindle away. I’ve watched a healthy, muscular person shrink four sizes smaller, skin grows paler, and spirits diminish. It’s an exhausting encounter, cancer is.

It isn’t beautiful to watch someone struggle. It isn’t beautiful to see them cry in frustration. It isn’t beautiful to find chunks of hair on the pillow, their clothes. It’s many other things, but it certainly isn’t beautiful.

The person who tweeted this must never have had a near and dear relative struggle with the disease. Because cancer…cancer is difficult.

There is one moment in the fight of cancer that is truly spectacular. Beautiful, if you have a limited vocabulary and want to call it that.

As the fighter, the tired, the warrior, completes their last chemotherapy treatment at M.D. Anderson in Houston, they ring a bell. The success, the twinkle in their eye of victory- is purely indescribable. Magical, wonderful: The chime of the golden bell that signals the end of fight, is the only ‘beautiful’ moment cancer has.

That being said, I’m not saying cancer takes away the beauty of a person.

While I’ve watched it transform my mother into someone different, someone smaller, someone exhausted, it hasn’t taken away her radiating beauty. I think I’m more proud to call her my mother in her hats and scarves then I was when she had her blonde hair.

Cancer can do a lot of things. It can hurt, it can change lives, it can bury itself in the farthest reaches of a person’s body, but it cannot make them less beautiful.

The fight itself is not pretty. I disagree with the aforementioned tweet because of this point. The fight, the chemotherapy, the radiation, none of that is beautiful. Those aspects of cancer are melancholy, hard to watch and something no one ever wants to endure. The beauty lies in the person. The one who never gives up, who maintains hope, who- no hair and all- is still as stunning as they were beforehand.

Cancer is not a beautiful fight. The person fighting it, however, is.

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Beliebers Ridiculously Support DUI

Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest made national headlines, feeding into our society’s celebrity obsessed culture. Yes it was tragic to see a young man arrested for such a crime. Surprising, though? Can’t say it was. News worthy? Not in the least. Pathetic? Most definitely.

But his arrest wasn’t the worst part of the whole ordeal. The most shocking aspect lay in the support of fans to “Free Bieber.”

So let me get this straight… an over privileged young man was arrested for driving under the influence and was supported by his fans to be released? Driving under the influence is a serious crime. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that “every day in America, 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes,” the equivalent of “one every 51 minutes.”

Bieber, who failed his sobriety test, sped, and wouldn’t cooperate with officers was supported by millions nation wide to be freed. He committed a crime of which he was clearly guilty, yet ignorant fans still complained for his release.

The young artist is lucky the situation went down the way it did; if he’d crashed while driving intoxicated and killed someone, things could have been much worse.

This is my fundamental problem with the situation. Bieber was guilty and could have easily harmed someone. If he’d been involved in a crash, I highly doubt his fans would have lobbied around him as they did.

No one should support a drunk driver. No one should believe it is in any way acceptable. Bieber’s actions were reckless, selfish, could have cost someone their life. They were all together immature and foolish.

It’s hard to believe a guilty drunk driver had the support her had and I surely don’t Beliebe it either.

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Beyonce Redefines Media Standards

Beyonce is a powerful feminist and she’s known for setting standards.

When Beyonce stunned the music industry with the unanticipated release of her self titled album, Beyonce, she was praised by her use of unusual methods. While that was an industry changing aspect of the album, there’s more to be said about her work.

The album covers a wide range of topics; love, strength, death, beauty and power.

She addressed one of the most important issues of our time, the idea that the media puts too much pressure on young girls and their body.

In her opening song, ‘Pretty Hurts,’ Beyonce sings on the notion that “perfection is a disease of a nation.” Playing a struggling beauty pageant-goer in the music video, she demonstrates anorexia, the desire to be thin and perfectly postured, fixated purely on appearances. Her lyrics are powerful as she sings, “we shine the light on whatever’s worse.” Beyonce depicts how the pressure from the media to be thin and perfect can leave “a shattered mirror and the shards of a beautiful girl.”

The lyrics have seas of meanings, underlying symbolism and resonating capacity. But the most important part comes in an interruption during the music video. When pageant queen Beyonce is asked what her aspiration in life is, she struggles before saying “to be happy.” The inability to answer immediately demonstrates how society has misshapen citizen’s viewpoints in such a twisted way, that many have lost sight of what is actually important- happiness.

Beyonce’s feminist viewpoints, obvious in her song ‘Flawless,’ as well, have the power to upset the media. Millions can fight back, like I. Millions can complain that the pressure the media has placed on young women is incorrigible, but ultimately nothing will change. If Beyonce could change the music industry’s idea of album releases, she can rock the media’s perspective on women’s bodies.

I salute Beyonce. And I salute the meaning of many of her songs.

Let it be known that if the goddess of the music industry can defy the media’s standards of a woman, anyone, including I, can too.

Technologically Crazed and Academically Praised

The generation of which I am a part, born in the 90s and continuing into the 21st century, has many stigmas attached to it. These need to be laid to rest.

We are the culture of technology. We live in the age of Apple, equipped with laptops, iPhones, and iPads, Twitters, Instagrams, Facebooks and Email. We’re connected to each other in every which way. We follow people online that we don’t genuinely care about yet fail to show those in the real world that we do exactly how much.

We live in a paradox. As the baby boomers and our parents create and develop a plethora of technologies and online applications, we get chastised for using them. The ‘lazy generation’ we’re called.  But are we really?

With Netflix binge watching and the ability to communicate with people around the world at the tip of our fingers, we may not have to work as hard as our ancestors in some aspects. But in others, the human generation has never worked so hard.

My generation experiences a level of pressure none others have. We’re the ones that will deal with national debt in 15 years, the ones with outstanding college tuition prices, crushing curriculums and impossible job searches.

Generations who came before us laid a path for us, saying that they wanted us to “have an easier life.” And so we have it- at least in terms of laundry machines, microwaves, food preparation and home activities.

By doing so, by giving us an “easier life” in some aspects, they made others more difficult than necessary.

The pressure put on students for ‘the perfect GPA,’ is ridiculous. Schooling has become mainstream. The American education system has turned into one trying to verse its citizens on broad subjects that don’t determine knowledge or success. We’re falling behind China in terms of education, yet we’re putting the emphasis on success rather than actual learning.

My generation is taught to make straight A’s, to constantly prepare for the future. In middle school we had to push ourselves to prepare for high school. In high school we had to push ourselves to prepare for college (which set ridiculous standards for admission). In college we must now prepare for our future job. In our first job we must be successful and prepare for the one we eventually want. In that job we must prepare for retirement. In retirement we must plan for our grandchildren.

Well that’s enough. Preparation isn’t everything. Achievement isn’t everything. The 93 I made is no better than the 98 I could have. The pressure to be perfect, to accomplish something and be overly successful- well it’s ending.

Our parents cannot call us the lazy, technologically stricken generation if we are pushed to do better than they ever did. We cannot be chastised for using their inventions, for not getting a perfect GPA, when they left us with a nation in trillions of dollars of debt, having to live up to impossible standards. We are not lazy because we only know our multiplication by calculator, when we’re solving Calculus IV problems that many can’t even read correctly.

We live in a world that puts pressure on us to fight poverty, end world hunger and cure cancer; so sorry if I took a break from my seven classes and five extracurricular activities to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix. Let me remind you, I’m not the one that lived through the era of “make love not war.”

My generation is hard working, and if you have any questions about that, you’re welcome to read my transcript.