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    • CourtneyRenee95
      • hello Courtney Renee
      • Username: CourtneyRenee95
      • In response to: "Who are you?" I’m Courtney. I’m seventeen and I’m a freshman at Indiana University – South Bend. I attribute all that I am and everything that I have to my faith and my family. Without them, I am nothing.
  • CourtneyRenee95's latest answers
    • Sometimes It Lasts In Love, But Sometimes It Hurts Instead
      • Every time someone mentions your name, I am overwhelmed with bittersweet feelings of distinct memories and a slipping reality. I pray every night that if I do as I'm told and act as I should, we'll be together like we were once upon a time. Day after day, my lingering hope kills me more and more, because for some reason, I'm never good enough to deserve you back. In my dreams, the past is much more vivid; the current status between us becomes less than a blur, only barely there just to remind me that the dream can't be real. God knows, considering how many times I've pleaded, that I'd give anything to go back and change the events that led up to this loneliness. Instead, He gives me the memories to realize just how much I've lost.

      • answered by CourtneyRenee95 on 12/17/2012
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    • A Life in Smoke
      • Burning Cigarette

        Lately I've been thinking about next birthday and all the privileges and changes that are to come with it. Just yesterday was Election Day and although I graduated from high school a year early and started college, I still am only seventeen and unable to vote. Something in me thought that this was unfair until I realized I'm truly not ready for that accountability in choosing who would be successful in leading our country. I started to ponder all the things I would like to do and all the changes that I would like to make before obtaining that kind of power and responsibility. I found that I have a long list of goals I would like to accomplish before reaching adulthood. Standard goals like gaining a higher level of maturity, managing money, and getting focused on a specific major made it to my top five list, but I realized I have a bigger goal for the number one slot. If I want to eventually be able to help make right choices for our country, I need to start by making good decisions for myself. The main goal I need to achieve before I turn eighteen is to stop smoking.

        I know it's ironic to quit smoking before I am eighteen, since it's not even legal to do it until then. I started smoking cigarettes about a year and a half ago during the summer of 2011. Everyone in my high school group of friends did it, so I picked up the habit, out of boredom. Before I started, I felt like they were always leaving me to "go have a smoke". They went outside in a group about once an hour and had multiple cigarettes at a time, lasting about fifteen to twenty minutes. Many times over the previous winter, I would go out with them and freeze my butt off to avoid being left alone or something worthwhile happening without me there. The smell is what is supposedly supposed to turn you away, but it never really bothered me. Eventually, it got tempting to do what everyone else was doing and I was tired of waiting on them and not having anything to do, so I asked my boyfriend of the time to teach me how to smoke. I didn't get addicted right away, or really even like it, but I kept it up and called myself a "social smoker". I didn't buy my own pack for about six months, but I would pay a dollar to someone who did have a pack to get three or four. That's how it started.

        By the next winter, the tables had turned, people started offering me money for a few cigarettes. I never considered the health risks or getting caught by my parents. As far as I thought about it, it was rebellious and slightly fun after I got passed the stomach pain and costliness. Now, it's an addictive habit to the point where I leave my current boyfriend, Ray's house earlier than I need to at night, so I can get one last cigarette in. Ray is not "in" with my old group of friends and doesn't smoke himself, but knows that I do and tolerates parking at a Walmart or McDonalds while I have a smoke. He's in a very similar position to what I used to be in before smoking and I feel sympathy for him for that. He doesn't seem to have interest in it, which I am thankful for, but if he did I would still refuse. I will be a hypocrite before I stick this sick habit on anyone else.

        I eventually developed my own favorite, Marlboro Red Shorts, and could distinguish that particular cigarette smell from others in the air when there are nearby smokers. I don't go a day without at least one cigarette now and it's disgusting. I'm praying two years of smoking won't cause my body any more problems than it does already. I already experience shortness of breath, sore throat, and frequent colds. I realize more clearly now that long-term health effects are at stake, such as lung cancer, emphysema, and COPD. I'm counting on God to forgive me and not let me have any more consequences if I quit soon. If not, I have only myself to blame, but I'm hoping that quitting will stop it from getting that far. I don't regret starting because it was an experience I needed to have, but at the same time, I wish I had never started and just had this life experience of how bad it is for me from the start.

        I have resolved a plan to quit. With my eighteenth birthday not coming up until after spring break in April, I will be unable to buy cigarettes while I am in Florida for two weeks. I stay with my grandparents and I don't know anyone old enough there that wouldn't sell me out for smoking and downright refuse. Two weeks will not break me of smoking immediately I'm sure, but it will help me to realize I can make it without and to slow down when I get home. The hardest part of it all will be hanging out with my old group of friends, who don't have any intention to stop. Being around them will bring back the temptation. I am at full realization that this problem may never fully be resolved and will always be a constant struggle. I will always have that one more "last cigarette", but I am hoping that I can get through this issue enough that it doesn't end up bring the death of me. While I'm sure this experience will be treacherous, it is best (and necessary) for me and my well-being. I'm trusting in God, my faith, and my wonderfully supportive boyfriend to help get me through this hard time.

      • answered by CourtneyRenee95 on 11/07/2012
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    • Call Me Stubborn, Call Me Arrogant, Call Me A Bitch, But I Am Anything But Weak
      • pathetic

        The worst insult I ever received that I would like to never hear again was that I was pathetic. This insult didn't get to me because it was mean or "hurt my feelings"; it got to me because it wasn't true. I associate this word along with weakness, dependence and sympathy. I am too strong-minded and try too hard to be independent for anyone to think anything less of me. Call me stubborn, call me arrogant, call me a bitch, but no one has the right to think that I am weak.

        Some background on origin of the comment, I am a college student and I have been in three multiple-year relationships; the first started my freshman year in high school. The comment stemmed from the fact that I have not been single in many years. Someone seemed to think that because I have always had a different man in my life that I am dependent, which in turn made me pathetic to them. In all honesty, slutty, even though I am not a slut, would have been a better description of myself than pathetic. Yes, I do tend to stay in relationships as much as I can. What they neglected to understand is there is a difference between a want and a need.

        I don't stay in relationships to avoid being alone. I stay in them, because I enjoy the company of another person in my life. When a relationship is too bad to repair, I get out fast and instead of dwelling on the pain, I move on and find someone else that I find easy to be around and that I like to spend time with. The presence of these guys isn't essential to my well being, but it did contribute to my happiness of the time and I have no regrets about that. I believe all of the guys felt mutually about our situation. I genuinely cared about each one of these them, but none of them distracted from myself, especially not in a way that should raise any signs of weakness.

        The definitions of pathetic are, "arousing or capable of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion", "miserably inadequate", and "weak and useless". I can't find reason to believe that these definitions fit into any portion of my life. All my bills are paid on time, I've bought everything I own, I get a good education, and my college loans are even taken out in my own name. I don't need anyone's help. I take very good care of myself and I don't intend for that to change. Being in a relationship won't take away my independence if I don't let it and I don't intend for the if to ever happen. I make the most out of my relationships and I see no downfall in that. I am extremely content in my ways and no one has room to judge me for being happy.

      • answered by CourtneyRenee95 on 11/06/2012
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    • Romantic Tragedy vs. Satire
      • During my freshman year in high school, my English class did a section on Shakespeare. Surprise, surprise: we read the play, Romeo and Juliet. Everyone, including the teacher, described their feelings about the play as a sad sacrifice for love and as a tragedy. I did not agree. What’s worse were the girls that thought the whole thing was romantic… I’ve never been able to convince myself of the same.

        Romeo and Juliet will always remain absurd and satirical in my mind. To put it simply, the definition of satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity”. Shakespeare was a witty, ironic and sarcastic bastard (hence my love of him). I don’t know that he really intended Romeo and Juliet to become the icon of true and fated love. To me, it’s more of a satire based on bad parenting and young lust.

        If you’ve read the play, you’d know that Romeo and Juliet’s parents were self-absorbed people of wealth that were feuding over a something that had happened in previous generations. They didn’t listen to what their kids were telling them and they didn’t pay attention to what their kids were doing. They just expected that because they said, “No. You will not see that boy/girl or go to that party/place and do that thing” that their kids would obey them and not question them. In short, they were poor parents that were asking for their kids to do something rebellious and stupid.

        Then we have the making fun of the young love. To start, Romeo and Juliet “fell in love” in about a week. Romeo, you would find if you read the play, basically used Juliet as a rebound from his last “love”, Rosaline. Juliet, herself, was a fourteen year old girl that was overly controlled by immature and selfish parental units that had decreed she shall marry some older man that she didn’t want to marry, so when some young, charming guy came knocking at her balcony, she threw herself at him and vowed her eternal devotion to him.
        For me, Shakespeare’s play ridded all romance from itself when he had Juliet put her morals on the line by so easily forgiving a murderer. Romeo killed Juliet’s cousin, clearly knowing that it would take their family feud to all new heights. Juliet still reasoned with him though, not unlike battered woman syndrome (a.k.a. Stockholm syndrome). Killing one of your girlfriend’s family members is not okay, even in the name of love.

        Now, we have the satire of the church. A Father, who is supposed to give the young and foolish lovers sound advice and guidance, instead aided them in their plan to lie to and dishonor their parents and run off together to be poor and miserable. The plan itself was not sound. I mean, what could go wrong with poison?

        Romeo killing himself was a quick act of desperation and weakness, not of true love. Juliet’s was of the same, because all in all, what did killing themselves really prove? It didn’t say romantic to me that they couldn’t live without each other. They knew each other for a week! They made it the whole rest of their lives without each other, why can’t they go on after? Both of them were being irrational and idiotic. Had they lived, they probably would have broken up anyway. Both children were too accustomed to money and privileges to slum it with each other and just enjoy each other’s company.

        The end of the story saw the parents realizing the errors of their ways and getting over their feud. They made up and grew up at the cost of their children’s lives. Young love is not real love; it is ill-informed and overdramatic. When it is over, it’s nothing to kill yourself over. Fourteen year old girls are not old enough to know what they want in life, let alone know what love is like. I don’t understand how this is any different than a modern-day fourteen year old, killing herself over a high school boy that she couldn’t be with. There’s nothing romantic about that. It’s just sad. There are more important things in life than first “love”. Life goes on. I believe that was the moral of the story.

      • answered by CourtneyRenee95 on 11/05/2012
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