A Thank You Note to The Huffington Post

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (which is indeed a holiday, despite people's best efforts to skip over it and go straight to Christmas), I've decided to write a blog post over something I am and have been thankful for over the past four years. Specifically, I'm writing about how grateful I am for being able to blog for HuffPost (how meta of me!). I started writing for HuffPost when I was a wee little high school senior, and right now, I am a senior in college. HuffPost has seen me through college, through that awkward transition during freshman year, through the realizations I had about subtle sexism while I was a sophomore, through my obsession with TEDTalks and beautiful quotes in my junior year, and through my exploring of different topics this current school year. In a way, I think of myself of having grown up on HuffPost.

When I first emailed the fabulous Liz Perle about writing for Huffington Post High School (later renamed HuffPost Teen), I didn't necessarily have all these opinions and blog posts in mind. I think I had a total of two ideas, one was Linsanity (which was an actual thing at the time) and one was how much I believed that environmental science was a helpful class for high schoolers. I didn't enter into the realm of HuffPost blogs being very strong-minded, feeling the need for others to know my opinions and personal experiences. Rather, I had just gotten a short narrative about Christmas time published in a local magazine, and at the time, I thought this meant that I was meant to be a writer and totally had enough experience to start writing for larger publications. This was due to me having no idea what I wanted to major in, what college I wanted to attend, or anything further than two days in advance, and anytime I tried something that went marginally well, I thought it must be my new 'life path'. Basically, I was desperate to find my lifelong career plans in any and every place I could. Luckily, Liz Perle took a chance on a high school student with a bad email address (my last and first name backwards at yahoo.com) and a 'solid' two ideas for blogs.

So, instead of me coming to HuffPost with all these opinions and ideas, when I started blogging, my mind started whirring with new topics to write posts about, observing and thinking critically about things I had never noticed before. Doesn't it suck that most magazines targeted towards teen girls feature love life advice articles titled "How to Make Him Yours by Summer" or "What Guys Really Think of Your Makeup", teaching adolescent girls to look for validation from males? Or, why does this film portray women solely in romantic contexts? Or, isn't that whole "I'm not like other girls" actually teaching girls and women to look down on their own gender? These are realizations I had because of HuffPost and my desire to keep blogging, and the process of writing (hopefully) coherent posts helped me make sense of feelings and opinions. Long story short: blogging for HuffPost has heavily impacted who I am as a person, and I can never be thankful enough for that. (Also, I got to ask Eric freaking Stonestreet from Modern Family a question on HuffPost Live so that basically made my whole year.) I entered the world of HuffPost blogging so unsure of myself, and with each post, I feel like I've gotten to grow and develop those strong beliefs and goals that I had never held before.

While college is a time to explore and possibly grow out of our interests, friends, and clothes (that freshman 15) from high school, I am endlessly glad that HuffPost has been my constant. I can't imagine what college would have been like without being able to blog about a variety of topics, from my favorite quotes of freshman year to my thoughts on how romantic comedies do a disservice to women to listing off TEDTalks I enjoy. Overall, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm just saying that HuffPost, I'm thankful for YOU!