I can confidently say this year was nothing like I expected it to be and it was much better. I didn’t think the grade 12’s at my school would want to be friends with me because I was doing a victory lap. I thought this year would be the loneliest of them all, and it turned out to be the opposite. I made many new friends who are just school friends but still good to have, and I formed many bonds I never knew I would. I did not feel any judgment from those who were younger than me for doing another year, and if anything, I felt they understood me. My teachers were also very kind and did not treat me any different for staying. I thought the worst part of the year would be the first days of the semester because I didn’t know anyone and the day of graduation because it was not my grade. In about a week, I will walk across that stage and have realized that I deserve to just as much as anyone else. I will get to see my childhood best friend graduate and will have all those who mean a lot there to cheer me on. Though I wish my principal who moved schools last year was there to graduate me because of how much credit she gets for helping me get here, I am just happy it is finally happening. After a long bumpy, filled five-year ride, I wouldn’t change it and am delighted it’s over.
I would like to first start with contradicting the title of this. With all of the debates currently going on in the western world about the abortion ban laws, I would bring my perspective to the growing conversation. Right now, if I am not mistaken Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, and Georgia are trying to get a bill passed to make abortions illegal, as soon as they can detect a heartbeat which can be as early as four weeks, and criminalize women who seek them out. Currently, Missippi was denied on their heartbeat bill; however, the rest of the states have not been and are pushing hard for it. So to get back to contradicting my title Pro-Choice or Life I want to point out that firstly, you do not necessarily need to be either. If you are pro-life, you can be for yourself, your family, and maybe even some of the people you decide to hang out with, however, you can respect others beliefs and rights to their own body like many other rights. I don’t need to believe in your religion to respect that you believe in it, and I don’t need to be gay to accept, nor do I need to be a scientist to respect that you didn’t want to be a doctor. Respecting what someone else is doing does not mean that you want it for yourself, but it is allowing others their personal freedom to do what they believe in for them. Secondly, though abortions can affect men, it does not affect them as much as it does to women in terms of their body changes, and the primary responsibility of childbearing is on her. Men should not be deciding what women can do with their body even if it can affect them. I believe this conversation carries so much stigma from religion and different viewpoints that give a lot of judgment to either side. I think if we could come together and respect all people and their decisions to do what they believe is best for themselves and no one else this would be easier to talk about, because if I respect you enough not to tell you what to do with your body then respect me too and show me the same.