170 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Kaylie Owen

    I believe in magic.

    This isn’t the typical storybook magic; I know better than to think that magic of that kind could truly exist in a world as paranoid as ours; we would destroy it as a threat to our fragile existence. This magic that I believe in is a common practice and is exceptionally powerful, though few around me seem to appreciate it for what it is.

    This is the kind of magic that manipulates and controls; it makes people see, taste, touch, smell, and feel things that are not really there. It makes them view their world in a whole new light and experience things beyond their day-to-day. Many see this manipulation of themselves as an escape from a life they find overwhelming or mind numbing.

    But, this isn’t all this magic can do.

    It can make them see the problems they never knew they faced. It makes them understand the world in a way that they had never understood it before. It makes them question their boundaries and push to new heights; it makes them step out of their confines, whether it be the mentality, sexuality, gender, or familial aspect of themselves and make a difference in the world. I make people branch out and look to new places and new faces.

    It makes people think.

    I believe in the satire.

    I believe in the dystopia.

    I believe in the fantasy.

    I believe in the magic of writing.


  2. Dylan DeAmaral

    Dylan DeAmaral
    This We Believe Essay
    Companionship is one of the most important and interesting part of our lives, and I firmly believe that it is essential to the human experience. Every person is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses, so having someone you can trust can help you overcome problems you normally couldn’t take on your own. From my friendships with people, I have gained a large sense of fulfillment in my life, and now that I am going to a new school, I hope to continue making those relationships. When I was younger, I tended to isolate myself from other people, often from nervousness or shyness, and I didn’t really mind being lonely. I tended to distract myself with TV or video games at home, so that I never had to think about how I isolated myself. Being so lonely all the time, I eventually realized how monotonous my life had become, and I decided to change that.. It did take some time, but I eventually did make some good friends, and began to be happier. Not only did I make new friendships, I also tried to become more involved in the community, and just by helping out strangers, I felt like a better person. Thinking back, I find it hard to believe I could be satisfied with being by myself for so long, and I think it would be very sad if anyone else decided to isolate themselves like that.


    1. I feel that creating and developing strong bonds with others also helps improve the emotional and mental aspects of health. All relationships, both positive and negative, should not be regretted It can encourage people to go outside of their boundaries and develop confidence within themselves. Through all of my relationships, I have gained a better understanding of who I am and what I believe in, especially through the less-than-enjoyable friendships. That is not to say that being alone is to be avoided in life. Though I do agree, extended periods of isolation can be lonely, sometimes a short break to relax and reflect could benefit one’s life and clarity of thought.


  3. Marquis Forbes

    Growing up in an African American household we believed in many values the most important value to me was honesty. I believed in honesty the most because this could make or break relationships with anybody. At countless times in our life we will come across a time where we have to be honest with ourselves and the people around us. When I was younger I realized how a lie could affect other people negatively. I was around 8 years old me and my little Brother was playing around with a basketball in the living room while my mom was out of the house and accidently broke a valuable vase my Mother had for years. When my Mother asked who did it I acted clueless after a while I ended up blaming it on my little Brother knowing it was my fault so I wouldn’t get a punishment. After seeing my Mother punish my Brother for the broken vase I told her what really happened she sat me down and we had long conversation about honesty and why it’s important to always tell the truth. I will always remember this conversation I had with my Mother because I felt terrible about the whole situation but most importantly I learned something that I could share with others. I feel that Honesty is very important in learning and maturing as a person. Ever since this incident I’ve tried my hardest to be as honest and truthful as I can because nobody wants to be lied to it strains a relationship and trust is lost. 


  4. Fallon Boragine

    I believe in trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is a valuable trait to have. When there is trust, no questions are asked and there is no fear of betrayal. When trust is out of the equation, relationships can be easily broken. I lost trust in my brother when I was seven years old. I know, seven sounds like a pretty young age to lose your trust in someone.

    This all began when he started doing drugs. Many may know the affects that come with living with a drug addict – never knowing where they are and wondering if they are alive or dead, the stories that never add up, and money that is continuously missing from your wallet no matter how many times you try to hide it.

    My brother always stole from me, but never our mother. You see, I knew where that money would go – straight up his nose – and I would deny him of borrowing any money from me. As a result, he stole. When it came to my mother, he would lie and because my mother loved her son so much and thought of him as the child who will finally improve his life, she would hand him the money later left disappointed and betrayed. I became frustrated with my mother because she could never see the reality of the situation and we continuously argued because of it.

    I, personally, no longer have a relationship with my brother. To be completely honest, I no longer want to try and have a relationship with my brother. Our bond has been completely severed to point where I am afraid to have him in our own home. The trust is lost.

    This is the reason why trustworthiness is a necessity in any type of relationship. Being betrayed by the people you love is difficult. Even though our broken relationship was heartbreaking, my brother’s untrustworthiness allowed me to see what true trustworthiness looks like and make myself aware of how I wish to be treated in future relationships that are built on trust.


  5. Bailey Murphy

    Everyone believes in something that plays a big part in their life, I believe in Hobby Shops. Whether they are local or you find them somewhere in the middle of nowhere. They each have a community that is always inviting and expanding trying to get more people involved with table top game whether it be board games, card games, or wargames. They all create a community and family with in each other. My local hobby shop has played a big part in my life of not being afraid to like different things than other people. It has shown me that just because one person that doesn’t really know what something is that you like doesn’t mean it is weird and you should be out casted but rather invited into this family of people that enjoy the same thing just as much as you do. It has helped me act more in groups building my ability to work in teams. It has boosted my social confidence with meeting and interacting with new people. It has this warm sense of home that lets you be yourself. One of the greatest parts of the hobby shop is helping people get into new things. I know from personal experience I was always skeptical of regularly going and feeling that I wouldn’t fit in and only playing the games that I was comfortable playing and not trying anything knew. Once I realized that doing that just limited the amount of fun and friends I could make.


  6. Nicholas Costa

    The type of relationship I had with my father when I was a child was not like the other kids. Every morning when my dad woke up, he would put on his kevlar vest, lace up his boots, and make sure his badge was on straight before he walked out the door. If I was lucky enough I would catch a glimpse of him giving my mom a kiss on the cheek before he was off for the day. Some days, I would not even see my dad because he had to be at the station so early for roll call and then, he would work a detail at night; so, it seemed like I was just living with my mom. This being said, I have never really spent much time with my dad. I didn’t have the one on one time other kids had with their dads because he was not always home.

    I believe in a game of catch. For me, this was the only time I had with my dad to have fun and, over time, it became sacred and I didn’t want anything to happen to it. I began to appreciate this time we had together and all the memories we were creating; from my dad falling into the pool to try to catch the ball, to me running into the side of the house. I loved every second of it. We still have this special day together, once a week, because it reminds us that even though we are busy with our own lives we still have time for each other.


  7. Jacob Murphy

    I believe in Thomas the Tank Engine. Over the summer I worked at Edaville USA where one of the biggest attractions is Thomas Land. Most of what I learned about Thomas was through the songs played in the park. I noticed a trend throughout those songs that I feel were used in the park and should be used more in the world.

    There are a few things I feel we can learn from Thomas. The first is how to approach meeting new people. Thomas has a lot of different vehicles as friends. This shows Thomas never judges a book by the cover. Thomas’s diverse friend pool should be hard to maintain, but Thomas seems to do it with ease. He is able to do this because he treats each one of them fairly. Thomas understands that you can’t treat a crane and a train the same way.

    At Edaville they have taken these ideas applying them to customer service and to their staff. When Edaville is hiring people if you have a clean background the managers are willing to interview you. Thomas is very popular with children, so we often get people with special needs that we have to communicate with differently. An example is when I had deaf twins who wanted to ride the bumper cars. I had to show them how the bumper cars worked without speaking. I’m not saying that Thomas has all the answers, but it is something to think about.


  8. Allie Volpe

    I believe in life after death because how could this amazing experience we edure right now and every minute of everyday just disappear forever when we die? Life and death are both just words. Life is generally defined as the existence of an individual or animal, where as, death is the end of an individual or animal. I believe that once an individual dies, their existence lives on through their soul. Life itself is such a questionable miracle, so I do not understand how it could just vanish from an individual when they die. I do not know exactly what I believe happens after death, but I believe there is a greater power that created life and that power determines where your soul goes when you die, depending on how you lived your life. Life is filled with memories, relationships, and learning experiences that I believe will be more significant after death.


  9. Katelin Harlow

    I strongly believe that music can influence and completely change your mood. Whatever mood you are in, happy, angry, sad, or anxious, can be altered by a song. I could be in the absolute best mood because I have had an amazing day and then all of a sudden Adele’s Someone Like You comes on shuffle and I start crying like a baby in seconds. If for some reason I have already been crying like a baby, I can listen to Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and I belt it out with a huge smile on my face. It doesn’t matter what kind of emotions you are feeling, just turn on the radio and you can be feeling a different kind of emotion within a minute. Music is a super important part of anyone’s emotional health so it should be incorporated into everyday life. Music will help you destress and let out all of the negative vibes from the day. You can always count on music to be there for you whenever you need it. Every song, every chord, every beat, every note pulses into your soul and makes you feel crazy emotional changes. Music is the best and most enjoyable way to turn that frown upside down and give yourself an attitude adjustment.


  10. Elijah Ellis

    Nihilism is a philosophy that suggests that there is no objective meaning to life. Nihilism is often subject to contempt and criticism from other schools of thought. I believe in Nihilism, but not in opposition to faith, optimism, or any opposing doctrine. Often people will associate Nihilism with negative emotions, pessimism, and generally consider nihilists “downers”. Nihilism is on a different level of abstraction from other ideologies. A quote from Albert Camus’s essay The Rebel explains how powerful Nihilism is: “If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.”. Nihilism is not particularly easy to approach, as the stream of conscious typically centers around themselves, which in turn breeds this feeling of ‘cosmic importance’. I first discovered Nihilism while reading the works of H.P Lovecraft, who is known for his nihilistic writings. An editorial note in one of Lovecraft’s most celebrated works “The Call of Cthulhu” helps describe nihilism: “Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.”. Exposure to Lovecraft helped me understand our cosmic insignificance and how it provides us strength. Humans are fragile, but cling onto life like only a mortal can. We have physical strength, intelligence, progressiveness, and art. Even though we are insignificant on both a cosmic and global scale, we are able to experience and produce very powerful things. Such as emotion, art, literature, and entertainment. I believe in Nihilism, because without us accepting our ‘mortal coil’ there would be little room for progress.


  11. John Sylvia

    I believe in forgiveness.

    Over my lifetime I’ve overcome many adversities in my relationships with both family and friends by believing in forgiveness. When I was younger Id always hold grudges if someone ever did me wrong, but I’ve learned holding grudges doesn’t get me anywhere and only leaves me more stressed. Throughout high school I realized holding a grudge with someone is unproductive and is only punishment on myself. One of the many reasons why I believe in forgiveness is because everyone makes mistakes, including myself.

    With forgiveness comes trust and respect. My mom taught me that trust is proven not given. A cousin of mine has been struggling with addiction for most of my life and I’ve seen his relationships with each member of the family deteriorate because of his addiction. There have been many years of lies, stealing, restraining orders and fights that have created a divide between him and the family. I do believe that one day after all we’ve been through we will have to forgive what he’s done in the past so he will be able to have a better future.

    When my parents split when I was 8 I couldn’t grasp the concept of why they couldn’t be together and I resented my mom for it. I’ve learned that some thing’s aren’t meant to be understood. Forgiving also contributes to living a more positive lifestyle. I always try to see the good in every person I encounter because there’s no reason not to. I feel strongly about this subject because its an easy way to better yourself and your quality of life.


  12. Kai Wilson

    This I believe, that the two party system in the United States is broken and needs to be changed. The way the system is setup right now, a large portion of the United States’s population can’t be represented by a person that shares all of their beliefs. Think this one through. I’m sure you the reader probably belong to one of the two big political parties in this country. Statistically speaking you are either a republican or a democrat. However I want you to think long and hard. Do you agree with all their opinions on social, economic and foreign policies. To varying degrees you probably disagree with some of the policies of the party you vote for. This is a problem that many people have. This government was created so that everyone would have a voice in the government. Remember the old phrase “no taxation without representation.” It was the cornerstone of the creation of our country and to make sure that everyone has equal opportunity to be represented in their government. Because of that more people must vote for “third parties” so that the opinions in this nation can be varied and more indicative of the population. If there were more parties, ten, twenty maybe even, then there would be a higher likelihood that there would be a party out there that was perfect for each person, supporting all the things that you care about. It would create a government of the people not of the Parties.


  13. Kelly Ho

    All my life my parents told me, “Get good grades in school so you can have a better future!” Little did I know, a better future just meant more money. Adults tell children to work hard in school so they don’t have to work as hard when they’re older, but they don’t necessarily tell them that it’s because having a lot of money equates to living an easier life. Parents work hard to bring food to the table and to keep a roof over their heads. Immigrants leave their countries in search of a better life because there aren’t enough jobs or money. Everyone dreams to live a lavish life with a multi-bedroom house and a nice car. I made it my end goal to have a good job that would pay the bills but now I’ve realized how powerful money can be. This valuable piece of paper can really dictate a person’s life. It can determine your lifestyle, your happiness, and whether or not you can even have healthcare. People have to buy things that are necessary for survival like food, water, and shelter. Corruption in the government and jury happen because the people in power have money. Rich people can pay their bails and get away scot-free while there are other people that are jailed for money related crimes. Money can be used as a method of survival and having a lot makes people happy. It’s crazy that this materialistic thing holds so much power over people’s lives.


  14. Cassidy Melara

    Music has the ability to surface a plethora of different emotions within one song. It is so powerful, it could change a person’s outlook on a topic entirely just by experiencing a different point of view. Carefully crafted lyrics taps into one’s innermost thoughts and places them within the situation presented to them through song. Many times, one turns to music in their most raw and fragile moments.
    Music speaks volumes; it spreads hope in the world, no matter what the situation. Knowing that there’s someone out there that understands everything you are feeling lets one be sure that they truly are not alone. With so many uncertainties in life, it is beyond comforting to know that music is always there as a constant. It grants a voice to those that doubt anyone is listening. It provides an outlet for anyone to express what they are feeling. It provides a common ground amongst complete strangers, banding them together, to stand for a cause.
    There’s nothing I believe more than the power of music. I’ve witnessed it change lives for the better. It’s changed even my own life. It’s so easy to separate yourself; to tell yourself that you have to go through your struggles alone. There’s no way anyone understands what you are going through, they haven’t lived your life. But music brings a whole new perspective. The right song can build you up from your low state, encourage you, and empower. Music saves.


  15. Zachary Perry

    “Do unto others as they would unto you”, these words have always been present somewhere in my life and after having this quote present in my life for so long it stopped being just some saying in life that people hash around and became something that I’ve tried to incorporate into my life, this being respect and this I believe in, for almost every problem I see today involving our society stems from a respect issue. And almost every solution I see to said problems doesn’t involve respect. I believe that if society wants to correct what injustices that exist, I believe it must first learn to collectively respect each other and any differences that might exist because respect is the willingness to hear someones opinion and value it. Respect means that you value others and treat them the way they have the right to be treated as, the same right you have. As long as two people are on this planet, they will always have some kind of issue with each other, which is why I believe in respect, because being respectful doesn’t mean you have to like everyone and share the same ideas. It requires minimal effort and the least you can do for others. You don’t need to go on some kind of soul quest to be respectful because even though it might be seen as an attempt to bring this full circle you just simply need to practice “do unto others as they would unto you”.


  16. Justin

    Friendship is something everyone holds deep inside of them towards others. Now this may seem very common, but it is truly difficult to find real and true friendships. Friendships that we will keep forever and remember all of the memories. A lot of people take a true friendship for granted because they are just use to it. Not many people appreciate that because it is just so common, but if people think about it, that friend wants to take time out of their day just to be with their friend. They want to be him or her because they enjoy the time together, but so many people take it for granted. This summer for me before college has really taught me what true friendships are and how much friends mean to me. I have learned that the amount of money that I make from working will never make me as happy as being with my friends and keeping those memories. For example, I would work 40-50 hours a week and I would go out with my friends and stay late at night with them. Many people might say this is irresponsible, but in my eyes I am trying to show them how much I appreciate them and want to enjoy the memories before we all leave. I would rather lose sleep and work eight hours a day or even more with overtime, than miss out on the opportunities and the memories that could be made with my true friends.


  17. Sam Engel

    Some people believe in religion, others believe in dreams; I believe in chips and salsa. You might be wondering if this is a metaphor for something more ambiguous, so let me explain my point. I am faithful to the perfect combination of a salty and savory bite to eat. I believe in chips and salsa because alone they do so little, but together they can accomplish so much. For example, when putting a bowl of tortilla chips out at an event, the only people who would reach to those chips are people who are bored- because lonely tortilla chips are boring! Salsa, on the other hand, is far from plain, but cannot be eaten simply by the spoonful (by the average person). When a bowl of salty, crunchy tortilla chips is placed next to a jar of fresh, chunky, salsa, it is like two teammates coming together for the first time and becoming the most talented, appreciated pair on the field. They compliment each other in a way two people working together do, in order to achieve a mutual goal. Not only does it satisfies one’s hunger, but it exceeds the expectations of taste buds because of the mind-blowing combinations of different textures and flavors. Overall, I am proud to believe in chips and salsa because alone one can be ordinary, but more than one ordinary, can be extraordinary.


  18. Jake Hatch

    Do you have someone to laugh with, screw around with, get in trouble with, confide in? Now do you have a group of those people, who on a regular basis embarrass the hell out of you and call you names that you could never utter in front of your parents? If so, these people -if you were curious- are called friends.

    Now you may think to yourself, “ Oh please! The kid next to me in Bio gave me piece of gum the other day. He even asked me what the homework was and if he could copy it before the bell rang!” Sure you probably know this kid and have talked to him here and there, but they are not a true friend. They are acquaintances that you might enjoy seeing, but are no more than that. True friends are the people that you can’t be without and it seems impossible to leave behind.
    If you struggle with motivation, pride, confidence or anything that you may feel, friends are there to punch you in the shoulder and kick you off your couch to go be social. As much as you may not want to sometimes, you don’t have much of a choice. At the end of the night though, when you all find a way to do something unforgettable, all you can do is smile and thank God for giving you a number of people that bring out the best in you so often


  19. Jina Johnson

    As a high school graduate there are many moments we can look back on and see our mistakes and failures that helped us evolve over time. The first two years of high school for me were simple and my grades were decent. My junior year is when everything changed. More issues with family, health. Trying to balance that and my school work took a big toll on me. My junior year was the first time I had ever failed any of my courses and this was a complete big shock to me. Failing was never an option in my eyes, failing had a big affect on me it made me encounter many insecurities that I never had before.These insecurities put a lot of stress on myself which affected my school work even more. The support system from the staff is what helped me pull it together and strive to be better. These failures helped me becoming a better person and I can honestly say I have learned from them. From this experience I learned that you can do anything you want even if you believe you are not good enough or even if the people around you are putting you down and not believe in you, you can still do it. I also learned that sometimes you have to fail first before you can be better at something nothing and no one is perfect it takes multiple opportunities for you to be better, failure in life can help you do and strive for better.


  20. Ifunanya

    I believe in equality for people of different genders, races and religion. I believe that all man and woman should be treated equally in every situation they find themselves in life. In today’s society women are getting payed less than men are working the same occupation, Black men and women are being killed left and right by the same people who are supposed to be our protectors and people all around the world are being punished or critizized for their own personal beliefs or religion. I believe that equality should be given to you from birth like freedom, something innate. It shouldn’t be something you have to earn or beg for. As a black women in today’s society it’s unfair that I have to lower my standards or dream small because my gender or skin color won’t permit me to dream big or have the same goals as a white man. I should be able to say that hard work pays off without excluding women or someone of color. Everyone deserves to live a full life of their own without being punished, critized or treated less than for it. I believe in equality for all or no equality at all.


  21. Vanessa Gifford

    I believe in life by the ocean. Since I was born, I’ve grown up with the salty ocean breezes, low/high tide, crabs crawling over my toes, boating, and experiencing the most beautiful sunsets on the horizon. Not only does being on the water bring me to my happy place, but it gives my family and I another definition of home.

    Straight from birth, I grew up in a house right on the water in Swansea, MA. Immediately, my grandparents introduced me to the boating world. Being the owners of our family business, Gifford Marine, water activities became extremely convenient with the various types of vessels we were allowed to take advantage of. Tubing, jet-skiing, kayaking, crabbing, and sunbathing kept us busy by the Lee’s River. During family events, going for a cruise on our boat the “Grand Vanalli” was always one of the many exciting activities. Before I was an adult, Papa would sit me on his lap and lesson me on the rules of boating in the ocean. He would teach me things like when to accelerate or slow down, what the green and red markers meant, and to always be aware of my surroundings.

    Growing up by the ocean has definitely taught me many long-lasting lessons. Throughout many years of being surrounded by such a beautiful environment, I can’t help but feel extremely blessed. I believe living life on the water is the most calming and stress-free privilege you could ever acquire. The ocean has provided such an amazing sport that will forever link the Gifford family together.


  22. Holiday dinners spent with family. Punch bowls at parties with friends. Pancake breakfasts shared with strangers. The one connection? Serving spoons.
    I believe in the power of the serving spoon, and how it can strengthen bonds and connect a community. Think back to some of your last family reunions or social gatherings – did they all have food? For the majority of events, the answer would be yes and commonly the host will leave serving spoons near all the food in order to distribute the food/drink hygienically. The spoon’s purpose spins off into multiple different outcomes such as relationships that may grow from two strangers chatting as one waits for the other to finish scooping to a marriage years later. Serving spoons are also a statement piece in reunions of different sorts (family, class, et cetera), and the focus of these reunions are to keep in touch and stay close with those who matter to you. Even if you’re sharing these utensils at an event such as a pancake breakfast with strangers, these spoons show no discrimination against age, race, gender, or sexuality.
    The serving spoon is a bigger symbol for what humanity should attempt to attain: a strong community that meets and stays together despite any differences with a specific focus on generosity. Regardless of the material of the actual serving spoon, the serving spoon will remain a statement piece in every kitchen and in our lives forever as even more than an essential tool… It will act as a reminder of many memories and future relationships to come.


  23. Kairel Vieira


    I believe in friendship. There’s nothing like knowing that no matter what kind of situation you’ve gotten yourself into, there’s people who are willing to get you out. Whether your car breaks down at 2 AM, someone wants to fight you, or you’re simply feeling down, you’ve got a couple of those “ride or die” friends who you can call, right? Friendship, true friendship that is, is something that means more to me than anything else and means a bond like no other. Sure, family is important, but in my life I’ve always been taught that I have to like my family because they share my blood. I like my friends because they share my interests, thoughts and passions. I chose to be their friend and they chose to be mine, which really says something. Friends are people you spend time with because you really want to, not because you have the same great grandmother. But that’s not to say family members can’t also be friends, because friends come in many shapes and sizes. Friends are the people you can tell anything to. Friends are the people who have your back no matter what. Friends are the people who keep you on the right track and always have your back. My favorite thing about friendship is you can just keep building new ones and I hope to do just that until the day I die.


  24. Luke Michajlov

    I’ve been lucky enough my whole life to be able to travel as much as I have. I’ve traveled all over the United States, from cape cod all the way to Arizona. I’ve seen the natural and historical beauty of the United States and what it has to offer. I’ve also been lucky enough to leave the continent and visit Western and Central Europe and the beauty they have to offer. Every place I go I get to meet new people, see new and different cultures, and experience life in different countries outside the United States, which is why I believe in traveling.
    I first got to leave the country back in 2010, and no it wasn’t to Canada or Mexico, but to the Czech Republic. As we finally got over the Atlantic Ocean into a whole different continent I noticed how different everything looked in the countries we flew over. There were many small villages spread out over large distances. Once we landed and got our rental car went straight to our cousins house in a small village about 30 minutes outside of Prague. During the drive I was able to notice that all houses are made from stone and brick instead of wood. Once we reached our cousins house we were greeted with a traditional Czech meal, goulash and dumplings. As we were being served I noticed just how different Czech cuisine is. I also noticed table manners are heavily emphasized everywhere you go and no matter what meal. Then after this meal we’d say our goodbye and go see another family member, and get fed another meal. This continued on for about 2 weeks as we visited more friends and family, and during that whole two weeks I was completely immersed in Czech culture. Being in a foreign land for the first time really opens your eyes to how differently life is outside of the United States, which is why I believe in travel.


  25. Cameron Glennie

    I believe in freedom. As an idea, it represents the core belief that it is the unalienable right of the people to live as they wish to the furthest extent without impacting others freedom.There is no substitute, nor replacement for freedom. There is no freedom more important than the freedom of speech. Guaranteed in the United States as the first amendment of the bill of rights, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” This right has served as an american tenant since it’s inception and has proved to be a core belief in my way of life. There is no greater freedom than the freedom to speak out. Whether against injustice, another person, or even one’s own government; the right to speak one’s beliefs is essential. This idea however, as of late has come under attack. In the media, in activist groups, and in many other parts of today’s internet era. There is a point where we need to consider the limits of free speech, whether it should be limited and for what purposes. As it is there are laws in place restricting one from threatening violence against another. One can not threaten terrorism, nor can one lie about certain emergencies. This is for the interest of the greater good, and much of this seems logical. However should there not be clear distinction on how free, free speech is, the unalienable right of the people could be lost to the people.


  26. Alissa Hall

    I believe in making the most out of everything. When I was younger this seemed impossible and that a bad situation was just bound to be bad and there was nothing I could do about it. I was wrong.
    In the grand scheme of things nothing that terrible has happened to me but in 2012 when I moved from Palo Alto, California to Westborough, Massachusetts, it seemed like the worst situation possible.
    In California, I went to a private middle school which meant I was on track to go to high school with a couple people I was already very close with, which made me significantly less scared of changing schools in the first place. Then, about 3 weeks after I graduated 8th grade, we left. Once we moved I was on track to go to school not know a single person (my twin brother is a year behind me in school) and I was terrified.
    I wish I could say that my experience changing schools is somehow extraordinarily different than others, but I can’t. That being said, I did eventually find my best friends and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. But that didn’t happen overnight.
    My freshman year I spent the majority of my energy resenting my parents for making me move and none of my energy actually trying to adapt, change and make the best of what seemed like a bad situation.
    If you put as much energy as you can into making the most out of the situation that might seem like the end of the world, it might turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Once I gave Westborough a chance, it turned out pretty great.
    Seeing the good in a bad situation is always going to be somewhat of a struggle for me, but I hope I can learn to do just that, and I think I’m off to a good start.


  27. Danielle Chubbuck

    I believe in sleep. As strange as that may sound, it is a daily necessity and a vital part of everyday human functionality. Sleep is what refuels, repairs, recharges us, allows us to face a new day with a prepared mind and body. For me, finally hitting the pillow after a long, exhausting day of existing and letting my mind slip into unconsciousness is one of the most satisfying feelings. The fact that we are able to essentially “turn off” our brains for a while and give ourselves a mental break from reality is pretty cool.
    Whether it be a solid and healthy eight-hour snooze or a brief twenty-minute nap, sleep affects us tremendously. Humans spend, on average, a third of their lives sleeping. Many of us do not always get the required or recommended amount of sleep per night. However, I think it is extremely important to be aware of your body and know your limits. Lack of sleep takes a significant toll on a human being, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. If you’re overtired and in dire need of catching some z’s, then you should do it. I know I’ve regrettably spent one too many nights up late working on various school projects and assignments which resulted in an irritable and zombie-like version of myself the next morning. Therefore, I strongly feel that more people should put sleep and their overall well-being first, as opposed to whatever task or job they’re taking on. I believe in sleep, because without it, we wouldn’t be alive.


  28. Camila Rodriguez

    I identify with the quote: “We are captives of our own identities living in prisons of our own creation”. This quote by Theodore Bagwell from Prison Break has allowed me to see that life is a box, a six by eight box of shelter and comfort. We tend to remain captive inside this box because we are afraid to show others who we really are due to being judged. This anxiety often prevents us from taking risks or venturing out to try new experiences.
    My six by eight box is enclosed by darkness and each time I blink all I see is a small ray of light, It often lures me in with a comforting smell, almost like a book that you just picked up from a shelf at your local bookstore, that “new book smell”. I claw the walls trying to tear this box open, hoping that this fear of showing others who I am doesn’t keep me from escaping. But soon enough I feel calmness as I erupt from within the walls of my inner prison.
    The first time I had experienced breaking out of my internal prison was my first year of high school. I was forced into peer pressure by my friends but that simply wasn’t me. I has lied to myself, I told myself that I was part of their crowd which I wasn’t. I believe in this quote because it helped me realized that we live our lives captured in the concept that we really aren’t what we are made out to be.


  29. Jason Simonelli

    We live in an age where everyone is told they can be anything if only they have the grit and determination to pursue it. Yet I’m a pessimistic stick in the mud who doesn’t see everything as so obtainable. Contrary to what we are told or what we see in movies, everything isn’t achievable. So Instead of having ever-reaching aspirations, I simply believe in mediocrity. I merely want to be a pawn in life. Both because I know that world doesn’t need me to be great, and that I’m one of the worlds least great people. But knowing I’m not going to achieve anything great doesn’t mean I’m not going to do anything great. I, just like you am a filthy stinking animal, frolicking around this world till I procreate and croak. I acknowledge this, and am content with it. If I can raise children to be at least as well off as I am, I did my job.
    I don’t really care about much, and don’t believe in much either. But when I think about it that’s fine. I’m ok with being a soulless cog working 9-5 in a dead end job with nothing better in life to look forward to. Maybe its the safety in the situation, the lack of change which makes my believe in something so conventionally hopeless. Yet I like to see it as my life is here to do my part, nothing more nothing less, And that I believe


  30. Hadijat Umarova

    I grew up watching my sibling’s graduate high school and college; I’ve watched them walk across many stages and before vast cheering crowds with splitting smiles on their faces and pride in their auras. I remember being a part of that audience time and time again, clapping and hollering while thinking, “I wish I can be in their shoes one day.” Coming from a third world country, where women didn’t really work or have an education, I was told that I was better off going back to the small village of my country in Russia and getting married by twenty-one. But that was not what I wanted, I dreamed of a different life. I dared to dream of college, to rear off the road I was being forced upon and walk down my own path. Refusing to stay quiet and contempt, I fought tooth and nail, arguing almost every night with my parents to let me achieve my dreams and make something of myself. In silence, I applied to colleges and wrote my many essays, I researched and visited campuses before finally making a choice. I believed in my dreams of attending college, of becoming something or someone, and chased them until they became reality. Today, I type away at an essay for my first weeks of college while occasionally glancing at the corner of my room where my bags lay packed and ready to go for move in day. I believe in my dreams and making them a reality.


  31. Judy Nguyen

    I believe in forgiveness
    From a really young age my parents put me through violin practice at the age of 5 to piano lessons at the age of 12 and SAT prep classes when I was 13. Though I was my parents diamond in a pile of coal my aunt found me as repulsive. As a child in my parents eyes little lump of love who was everything they could’ve hoped for but when when my aunt looked at me all she saw was Mc Donalds hamburgers and French fries.

    I still remember when I was 12 my cousins and I finished our piano lessons and we were getting ready for dinner and all my cousins were sitting down at the little kids table and when I sat down on my chair once I sat down when I did the chair broke into 6 pieces. As my cousins were all concerned with my aunt pulled me aside and said “Judy what you did was not okay, I feel like you don’t need to eat tonight if you eat then you’re just going to get fatter you don’t want that right? Boys don’t marry fat girls.” That was when my heart was smashed into a million pieces. I didn’t eat that night I ran to the bathroom and cried my heart out. My parents asked me if I’ve eaten and I lied saying yes. Since then I couldn’t look at myself when I got out of the shower, I would wrap myself in a towel and then put my clothes over the towel so I wouldn’t have to see the fat on my body.

    From then on I couldn’t stop thinking about everything I ate. I didn’t tell my parent about my aunt bullying me about how fat I am and how no one loves a fat girl so I decided to do something about it I picked up swimming as a sport. I swam 3 hours everyday, so much to the point where I lost a good 15 pounds in 3 months. When I started to see the results I was ecstatic, but then I started to become obsessed with trying to lose weight to the point were some times I wouldn’t eat for three days. When I started sixth grade school, I was 130 pounds by the time I was in the seventh grade I weighted only 90 pounds. Even then my aunt called me fat she said I may have lost weight, but I wasn’t as skinny as my other cousins who were the same age and 10 pounds lighter. I struggled with eating to the point where my parent had to take me to doctors to figure out why I was losing my appetite even then I kept the bullying to me.

    After a year of basically starving myself, I met my best friend Sandy Ngo. She was my aunt, niece on the other side of the family. I’ve never met her before and she was a little thicker too. We became friends very quickly and bonded over the fact that our aunt bullied us into hating our bodies. As we grew older I wanted to hate my aunt for how she made me feel all those years but Sandy taught me to forgive. To let go of the past and that the experience made me stronger and that without living through that I wouldn’t have the confidence I have today. I believe forgiveness is just another step towards moving on.


  32. Kristen Vezina

    Years before me, before us, they allowed their silence and their names to break the bloodthirst of the crowd while they gave their innocent lives to the witches’ imaginary coven and their last words were “more weight”. They left Germany first, then Poland, then Europe to board massive metal ships, overloaded and underfed to Ellis Island with dreams of better things yet the only thing they received were diseases. They croaked and coughed blood and their days were spent not in new picketed white fenced homes but in sanitariums. Those who were left behind were moved from place to place, prosecuted, homes left abandoned to be looted. Ghettos, trains, and camps. Bodies bludgeoned and singed left in ditches on the side of the road, gun shots to the head because they were simply hungry or cold, women and children lead into big dark rooms hoping for a shower only to be pitchforked out after. It was hate crime and it was brutal. It was terrorism and it was unbelievable. It was war and it was ugly. It was politics and that was worse. It took unity to fix it all, boots stepped foot on the beach but although there was a victory, it was too late. Over 6 million lives to ruin, over nothing. Then it was burning steel. People were jumping from the 57th floor trying to find a way out, those on the plane would perish right in their seats. Beheading and torture. It’s terrorism and it’s unbelievable. It’s men, women, and children fleeing a home of war: at least 5 combatant forces all in one stop and no one believes it’s that bad. “We don’t have enough rooms for you, and maybe you’re one of them. You could be a terrorist threat.” They float aimlessly at sea with no where to go but back to the bombs. It’s war and it’s ugly. It’s schools, movie theaters, airports, and malls. The bullets don’t have any discrimination, everyone is a target now. It’s hate crime and it’s brutal, it’s politics and that’s worse. It’s happening now in the 21st century. We’re told to hold each other close because such is life “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” We cower and wait for someone else to step up and fix the problem but in reality it’s everyone that needs to come together before another 6 million lives are gone to nothing. I believe in unity, I believe in perseverance, I believe in empathy, I believe in love, and I will never let it die.


  33. Bright Frimpong

    I believe in NAME as a factor that determines an individual’s personality. It’s a common truth that there is nothing sweeter to an individual than one’s own name. Why are we given names? We are given names to serve as an identity to every individual across the globe. Right from birth a person’s name explores certain expectations from the individual in life. Names like Robert, Charles, Alice and Mary are mostly given to children who are expected to be smart in life. Furthermore, certain names also determines the background or religious perspective of a person, names like Aron, Ann and Mary are mostly traced from Hebrew and often linked up with Christianity. Most at times, our names controls our employment statues, how favored we are in the society, how bad others think about us and sometimes our position in a company or work place. In addition, racial perception of a name has an outstanding effect on the individual specifically African Americans and individuals from the Middle East. Our names determines our race sometimes, hence, that affects our ability to be employed in certain institutions of the opposite race. This turns to affects job opportunities for black folks in white communities. Mostly people with Islamic names are more often considered or linked to terrorism or violence (no offense) but in actual sense there might not be any link between them and terrorism. This thoughts on people’s minds turns to have a substantial effect on the person and for that matter the Islamic community as a whole is been affected which shouldn’t be the case. Lastly, naming a person after a famous individual in history is bond to have a psychological influence on the person. A person named David for instance (think first biblically) about King David and celebrities like David Beckham (soccer), David Cameron (British Prime Minister), David Schwimmer (Actor) and many more this turns to have a very big task on the person to live up to (expectation). Now you see why I believe in NAME. Is your name affecting your personality? If so then try hard to live by it or CHANGE IT.


  34. Francesco Piscani

    In the upcoming years of our lives, our generation will face many challenges, but there are a few that particularly stick out. In today’s age, technology plays a dominant and abundant role in our everyday lives, and has become almost a necessity in today’s advanced world. Our generation has become accustomed to the usage of technology, more specifically social media and communication. I believe that our generation, and the generations below us are lacking common-sense when it comes to respect for others, and concrete social skills in general.
    Almost all communication amongst each other in today’s world is over the internet, and face-to-face interaction is starting to dwindle. We text, we e-mail, but rarely do we have formal and proper conversations face-to-face, requiring confidence, eye contact, and necessary communication skills. Growing up in a modern world, you don’t see the sort of respect and common sense that you see in older generations like our parents and grandparents. Our generations are slowly losing things like this, as we aren’t exposed to formal and respectful settings as often as generations before us had. But, what could be done about this issue? Technology can’t just be taken away, how will our generation be able to fix this issue?
    To help fix this issue, people, especially young adults of our generation need to interact with each other more, helping to develop these skills. These certain skills can’t be taught, and can only be developed through practice. As college students and legal adults, this “adult” and “professional” environment and thought process is already among us. So all in all, practicing a more formal way of speaking with others, especially elders, will definitely benefit us in professional and formal settings. It’s very important, and one day may just land you a job. Thank you.


  35. Mollie Cholette

    Kindness is a word with a rather ambiguous meaning. Yet, it is what I believe in the most. Kindness, to some, means little things, holding doors and being polite. Kindness, to others, means just not being downright mean. Kindness, to me, is simple: make a conscious effort to show altruism to everyone you meet. It does not happen by accident or by a coincidental convenience, in contrast, kindness is a choice that is made, or not made, in every interaction with another person. I choose this because I believe that it is better for me to make an effort to be kind, and hopefully make the life, or day, or even small hour, of someone else better. I want my impact on other people to be positive, always.
    There is also a selfishness in selflessness, as I firmly believe that there is no better feeling in the world than making someone else smile. And I, for one, believe that this is a rare example where selfishness is good. Showing kindness and courtesy costs you nothing, but it can drastically improve the lives of both you and the people around you. It is a reciprocal benefit, from which everyone prospers. In choosing to enrich the life of others, you are also enriching your own.
    And that is why I believe in kindness, above all.


  36. Matt LaVoie

    I believe in tattoos. That’s probably a weird thing to believe in, but it’s the truth. Most people see them as a way to be a freak, or as some big mistake that someone makes, but the truth is so much more. Tattoos are personal expression. Tattoos are something you’ll never forget. Tattoos are you. Honestly, a lot of people do get tattoos for the wrong reasons, but I’m not talking about those people. When a person takes time, really thinks about a tattoo, chooses something important and meaningful, tattoos become a permanent expression of the soul. You can tell your entire life story in the ink in your skin, where it will show others your true self and remind you of who you really are. Even the act of getting a tattoo shows absolute conviction. For one thing, it HURTS. A lot. That kind of pain is only worth it if you’re getting something that is truly who you are. And it’s permanent. You’re getting this thing put on your skin for your entire life, so it had better be damn special. If done right, with a good artist and a well-planned design, tattoos create a beautiful tapestry of stories, emotions, beliefs, and dreams. Whether delicately inked in rainbow hues or firmly stamped in shades of grey, your unique masterpiece reflects everything you are and hope to be.


  37. Ariana Mastera

    I believe in heartbreak. It can happen to anyone and when it does you can’t help but look to others hoping they’ll be there for you. A heartbreak is a consuming wave of emotions and thoughts. You feel like you’ll never be happy again. Sitting there with nothing but thoughts, you can’t help but think where it all went wrong.
    I can only sit here and type this because I know feeling, and I’ve only experienced it once. One time was all it took for me to feel like I’ll never be able to love again. I won’t go too much into detail, but for two and a half years I thought I had found my person, and what we had was unbreakable. Ironically, a “break” was just what was supposed to happen. Something I thought had meant so much was thrown away so quickly, mindlessly, and suddenly I felt like I was in Keri Hilson’s music video “Knock You Down”, because it perfectly described how I felt. Knocked down, hard and cold heartedly. For months it was like there was this huge weight holding me down, forcing me to succumb to the thought of not being good enough. That I deserved to feel this way and the more I thought about it, the more it destroyed me.
    The best part about a heartbreak is building the strength to push off the weight. You can finally feel good about yourself, eat without feeling queasy and listen to sad songs without feeling so broken inside. Being heartbroken is one of the worst experiences but I promise you, you WILL feel on top of the world again. I believe in heartbreak because it happened to me.


  38. Mason Menard

    Something that means a lot to me is friendship. I would be nothing without the great friends that I have made along the way in life and the anticipation of making brand new ones here in college. The word friendship according to Merriam-Webster is “a friendly feeling or attitude : kindness or help given to someone.” While this may be accurate to some point it just scratches the surface. The definition of friendship to me is a person in your life that without them would change the way you live life. A person who is your true friend is someone who will always be at your side when things get tough. They are the person that when you go out in public people will think you are lovers because that is how close and comfortable you are with one another. Friendship to me is another way to say you love someone. I was once talking to my friend’s girlfriend about the topic of friendship. She had just lost one of her best friends over an argument, and I was asking her how it felt to lose someone that she had been close to. She explained that it “was what it was” and that there wasn’t anything she could do about it. They had a disagreement and neither one was going to change their views for the other. What she told me made me sad, I couldn’t imagine my life without my friends, they are my boys.


  39. Jacques

    I believe in leadership. This isn’t the simple leadership that people attribute to those with power. I believe that leadership goes beyond simply calling the shots, I believe that to be a good leader requires responsibility, perseverance and, your teams limits. When a team fails many leaders blame what they believe to be the source of the problem, the weakest link in the team. However leadership entails recognizing short comings and working around them to finish the task. A true leader knows their team and the extent of their abilities and that when they fail they need to accept responsibility for the mistake and work to improve it, if one never critiques themselves they will never improve. Which brings me to my second point. All though working around your inabilities to finish challenges you must also have the perseverance to continue to improve yourself, no one is perfect and no one ever will be, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. A leader doesn’t hold himself above his team. A leader is just another member of the team, an equal who pulls his weight by organizing and pulling together individuals to get a job done that is too large for anyone alone.


  40. Courtnee Nagim-Chase

    I believe in change. Throughout my life I have heard many different opinions about the physical action of change. Many people are simply scared of change. However, that can have a huge effect on many people other than that individual himself. In smaller and less complicated situations, little things such as simply trying something from a new culture is very important. Or in more larger situations, such as accepting someone for who they are. It all depends on what a person, as an individual is willing to do to come out of their comfort zone. To take it to a more personal level, I never really had a problem with changing or accepting. It was actually quite easy to me. However, over the course of my teenage years I have noticed that it is way more complicated for some people to adjust to certain things that they are uncomfortable with. In my senior year in high school, I read many novels about modern madness. One of the memoirs that I read was Darkness Visible, by William Styron. Styron explains this struggle through his depression disorder and all of the struggles that he has overcome. There was one quote that jumped out to me and caught my attention which was when Styron explains that “depression, most people know, used to be termed “melancholia,” a word which appears in English as the year 1303 [and]… ‘Melancholia’ would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was usurped by a noun with a blank tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferent to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness.” (William Styron). By not addressing it directly, Styron is explaining the lack of change within the society. Specifically, in this case, the connotation of depression is not changing. I figured that it was important to address Styron quote because it shows how society does not accept certain things that are very important. With barely accepting the wording change of this important disorder therefore people will not understand the actual importance of the disorder itself.
    Of course, it’s very important to accept change in terms of disorders and other major problems in the world. However, it is also important to accept change just for the well being of yourself. Growing up, my parents always told me to try new things because without trying new things, an individual will not be able to catch the mistakes that they are making and therefore, will not be able to fix the mistakes. It is important for people to broaden their knowledge and test their tolerance. Without doing so it will be hard to accept people for who they are, for simply just accepting minor changes. I am proud to say that I am overjoyed at person that I have grown to be. The person who is always looking outside of the box, and wanting to try new things.


  41. Zachery Brea

    I believe in Love. As a child I grew up without knowing what love was. Up until the age of 13 with my biological parents I thought that what I had seen those past 13 years with them was love, but as I grew older with my adoptive parents I found out was true love was. Love brings people together, and while some may think it only brings certain people of races and backgrounds together I believe that it brings everyone together no matter who you are, where you come from, or even what you’re background is. I’m not saying my biological parents didn’t love me or that my adoptive parents love me more than what my biological parents did, but the way you show love to a person can have a big influence on how they view what love is. I believe that love should be given to everyone in anyway. Love is a feeling something that you need to be shown though in order to feel it. Like many others throughout the world I was never really shown what real love was in my younger years. Love should be shown to people at a young age, so they continue to live on showing next generations and others what real love is. Most people think that real love is just being around someone and listening to them, or buying them things, or hugging and kissing someone. To me love is not that. Love is being there for someone as much as possible and showing them that you care and want to listen to them. You don’t have to be in a relationship to someone that you them. You just have to be there for them not only when they need you the most, but also when they don’t need you the most.


  42. Ryan

    I believe in honesty. Honesty by definition is the act of being virtuous or sincere. I believe that one of the best things you can do as a person is to be honest to someone. Whether it is sharing your opinion on a topic or something more serious like telling someone the truth knowing it will hurt them is a very strong character trait. Now I consider myself to be very honest and sometimes to a fault I must say. I have gotten myself into some very tough situations by telling someone the truth but it was worth the temporary pain it caused me and my peer. There is times when you need to stand up and tell the person that what they are doing is wrong and that they can’t be doing that anymore. Even when honesty is not the easiest option it is always the best one. You may feel that lying to your friend to protect them is the best option. This is wrong almost always your friend will find out the truth eventually and will be even more hurt knowing that you kept things from them. Also more than likely your friend will be closer to you because of you being honest to them.


  43. Ryan

    Many of you don’t know me yet, but I’m a bit of a nerd, and something that I believe in is technology, which has obviously become a big part of everyday life for most people. From the smartphones that we all can’t live without, to all the fancy features coming out in new cars. Unlike some people, I am very for integrating technology into things, whether it’s a smartwatch, or driverless cars, or even the fridge that Samsung put a big touchscreen on, just because they could. I’ve been good with computers for longer than I can remember but my sophomore year of high school is when I became really interested in technology overall. Since then I’ve learned a lot of things, and I’ve started paying more attention to new tech things that have been coming out, because I find it so interesting. It’s a cool interest to have, but most things can get to be pretty expensive and are therefore out of reach for me at this time.
    I believe that technology greatly enhances our lives, but some people think it causes more problems than it’s worth. I think I have more faith in it than most people because I generally have a good understanding of that kind of stuff, while others aren’t quite as lucky. Some people say I might trust technology a little too much, but to be fair, it is what I believe in.


  44. Matthew Mondazzi

    We as a people constantly strive to discover and reach places we never thought possible. Our natural born curiosity has driven us to not only the edge of our own planet, but to the edge of our own solar system. Every one of today’s inventions started as an idea, a thought about if we could make something better than what we already have. The greatest thinkers in history have encouraged curiosity, with famous quotes such as “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” said by none other than Albert Einstein. Curiosity is not only one type of thought, but rather it defines so many different types of thoughts, from Philosophy to Religion. Great philosophers, such as Plato and Socrates, spent their entire lives following their curiosity and using it to discover new aspects of humanity. It was the passion of discovery, the drive to discover and create that drove me to pursue an engineering degree. Along with me follow a new generation of engineers and thinkers, whose curiosity drives them in the same direction of forward progress. With this force behind us, we can strive to discover and create the way we have always been, as far back as we can remember.


  45. I believe that the hardship of failure is what ultimately makes us succeed in life. The trials and tribulations I went through, throughout my four years in high school have made me realize what I need to do to succeed. Such as my failure making the high school basketball team. Not only was it the biggest failure at this point in my life, but it also made me see flaws within myself such as my constant need for my peers approval. But by spotting my own flaws I was able to work on them and preserver through my troubles. My essay is much bigger than just a boy trying to make a basketball team; it’s what all of us as human beings go through and experience that makes us become better as a person and finally achieve the status of successful within our lifetime. While being both intricate and simple the topic of failure and success is an ongoing topic within our community that everyone has a different opinion on. Not every one of my peers will see failure as a chance to grow or even succeed, which is fine because success is a long winding road of obstacles within our short lifespan that we have to hurdle over.


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