The Best News in the World


So, you guessed it, I found out last Tuesday that I was accepted into the CBYX Program!!! I am so excited and happy right now and just in a perpetually good mood!

My area representative, Peg Fair, called the night before and left a message saying to call her back. If I had been there I would have leaped for the phone but I was having a sleepover with a couple of my best friends, Sacha and Haylee. Yesterday morning, my mom picked Sacha and me up to take us to track practice (it’s Spring Break here and we have early practice this week). As we were driving to school she handed me a post it not with a phone number on it saying, “The Germany woman called and wants you to call her back.”

My mom and Sacha then pressured me to call her but I was way too nervous to at that time. I felt sure that it would be a ‘no’ and didn’t feel ready to have my dream come crashing down yet. So Sacha and I ran and actually had a really fun practice because our coach designed this scavenger hunt type thing. We came in second place, ran a couple drills more, and played ultimate frisbee. Spring break practice is wayyyy better than usual! My point in saying this is that it totally took my mind off of Germany.

When I got home I went outside and called, probably more nervous than I’ve been in my life. When Peg answered the phone I told her who I was and after a couple heart stopping seconds she said “Oh Laretta Johnson! I’ve got good news for you kid!” This wasn’t what I had expected at all and I responded with an exclamation of “Wait, really?” I obviously know how to make myself sound really intelligent. She said “Yep, you’re going to Germany!” At this point I almost started crying of happiness and got all flustered and excited while repeatedly thanking her. She told me to look for emails in the beginning of April. My application is now being sent to Germany where host families will look at it, along with those of other applicants, and begin choosing their exchange students. Depending on how soon I get chosen, I could be getting in contact with my host family as soon as mid-April! I hope get chosen right away so that I can start to establish a relationship with my host family!

Anyways, immediately after find out I, literally, skipped up to my front door, ran inside, and screamed “I GOT IT!!!!” My dad was the only person home and I ran and hugged him as he immediately teared up. I then proceeded to call my best friend, Sacha, text close friends, update my facebook status and tell my mom and sisters as they were driving home. Since then it has been a flurry of congratulations returned with my practically memorized speech of the coming events.

It still doesn’t feel real and I am so excited for this next adventure! I can barely focus on anything else going on in my life right now and I have no idea how I am supposed to get through the next few months of school and still do well in all my classes and on finals! Ahhhh! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT.


Sitting, Waiting, Wishing 2.0


So it’s been almost a month since my semifinalist interview with a panelist of interviewers in Palo Cedro. While I was supposed to hear back by yesterday, I haven’t heard a word from the CBYX officials. Needless to say my already off the charts anxiousness has skyrocketed even further! I just want to know. I want to hear them telling me I am indeed spending my junior year abroad! And if it’s a no, I still want to know so that I have a clear idea of what my junior year of high school will hold! (If I don’t go to Germany, I plan on being a full International Baccalaureate student.)

I think that I had a strong application and successful interview, but I feel nervous getting too confident in being accepted. At the same time, I lose confidence each day I don’t hear back.

This feels like the nerd version of “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.” I’m not waiting on some guy but waiting for the results of what could be a life changing experience!

I’ll continue to hover over my phone and email and let you know as soon as possible!

The Vanity Social Media Instills


In the age that technology has brought us to today, few people are not frequently engaged with social media sites. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an age of selfies has been created.

From the mirror shots to the arm-out-obviously-taking-your-own-picture poses to the duck faces of our generation, pictures of ourselves and our friends clutter the internet. Just about everybody is guilty, particularly teenage girls.

It becomes a competition, a sign of popularity. I don’t blame this on anybody, and I succumb to it as well. Maybe it isn’t even a bad thing, simply a way of social life in this day and age. The point is, we are constantly posting pictures of ourselves in the hopes that we will get a solid number of likes and several comments praising us on our good looks.

It becomes a self confidence tool, a motive to look good, a new source of vanity.

I’ll use myself as an example. Every couple of months I’ll update my profile picture and in between those time periods I might post a picture on my wall. As I click the post button each time I find myself desperately hoping for a lot of likes. It has, unfortunately, become a reaffirming, self-confidence gaining, way for me to feel that I am, in fact, attractive. I want to believe that I put these up without caring what my friends, family, and peers think of me and my pictures, yet I do.

And, I don’t think I’m the only one. But what we all really need to do is find satisfaction in how we look and care less about the opinion of the public. It’s wonderful to feel loved and attractive, but that should come second so that we truly believe it.

As Charlie says in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” We’ll accept the admiration we think we deserve as well; but if we have enough confidence to know the truth then we also won’t rely on it.

P.S. I’m sorry if this post came across as highly shallow. While it does focus on our looks, I think that it has a good deal of truth in it.