Respect differing perspectives

Cora Astin, Entertainment Editor

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Ever since my sophomore year I’ve been dreaming of writing this column, but as graduation has crept closer I can’t find the words to say. As I thought long and hard about this, I realized that everything is really about perspective.

Your outlook on life is how you want to see the world. Some people may choose to view the world in a bitter or cynical way, due to bad circumstances. Others may choose to persevere and look at the world with fresh eyes.

To make this a little clearer, let me introduce myself: my name is Cora Astin, I’m from a small town in Georgia that has seen hard times. I’ve lived in Manhattan for about five and a half years — but not all at once.

The first time I lived here was back in elementary school; that was for about two and half years. I moved away from Manhattan in the middle of the school year. About three years, ago I moved back to the same little house in Manhattan.

I’ve been a military kid for as long as I can remember; in essence, I’ve known the definition of respect and honor before I could tell you what they were. I would honestly love to say that everything is blissful as a military kid, but most people know that’s not true. About every time that I would get my footing in one place, I would move again. It had a tendency to make my childhood very lonely in the sense that I wasn’t close with anyone my own age.

Last summer I thought everything was going to be smooth sailing from the beginning of the school year to now, just days away from graduation. As always, my preconceived notions of the school year didn’t work out.

For example, most of the year my dad was deployed. He came back days before we packed up the house to move halfway across the country. To add the cherry on top, I’m moving the day after graduation. It’s definitely not what I expected this year to be at all.

As crappy as this year has been for me — and everyone else — I’m glad that it happened. This year has put a lot of things into perspective for me. Such as how important family is, how plans aren’t always going to work out and that being an empathetic person is constantly necessary.

Family, whether it is blood-related or not, will always be there for you, no matter what circumstances you get into. They will help support and guide you as you hit rough waters and be there by your side when you aren’t expecting them to be. Family will help you adjust your perspective when you get off track, putting the correct things back into focus.

Sometimes plans are meant to be broken and that is okay. You set plans in the beginning, but as you move along, your perspective changes. Which is totally normal and everyone should expect that to happen.

You constantly need to be an empathetic person, so that other people know that even though you aren’t in the same boat as them, they can come to you for an outside perspective. Along with being an empathetic person, you have to constantly rework how you approach and deal with people, because their perspective is changing too.

Although I haven’t gone through some of the horrible situations that other people have had to deal with, I can tell you this: what I’ve gone through helps me see the world a little differently.

The best way to explain this is through art. If you were to paint a canvas with your life story others will have their own take on it. This is because each person has their own perspective, that has been shaped by their experiences.

As the seniors leave and the rest of the student body moves up to the next grade, I urge you to find your perspective in this crazy mess that is life and strive head on towards it. Remember that each person has their own perspective on life. Sometimes it can be cynical or bitter, other times it can be cheerful and uplifting. It all depends on how you choose to look at the world moving forward.

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Respect differing perspectives