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If you're homeless and in college, what do you do when the dorms close? She faced it.

How one young woman not only escaped homelessness and finished college but is helping others.

This is an original piece by Jessica Sutherland, first featured on Bright and reprinted here with permission. To read more pieces like this, go to Bright and hit the follow button.

The Secret Lives of Homeless Students

After years of homelessness, I graduated college and a competitive master's program. What about the other million-plus homeless students in the U.S.?

By Jessica Sutherland


Did you know that there are an estimated 1.2 million homeless students in American K-12 schools? For many years, I was one of them. My mother and I lived in the same motel room from kindergarten through third grade; after a few years in a “real" home that ended when I was 11, we spent the next six straight years in a cycle of chronic homelessness in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.

To many people, homelessness evokes images of bums in tent cities, or families sleeping in a station wagon. While we spent our share of time sleeping in a shelter or a car, my childhood homelessness was mostly spent doing what my mother — still, to this day — prefers to call “bouncing around": living in motel rooms, or sleeping in whatever extra space people could find for us in their homes, for as long as we could stretch our welcome. Occasionally, we'd have an apartment for a few months, but we'd never have any furniture, and we'd always get evicted.

Refusing to call our lifestyle “chronic homelessness" didn't mean we didn't keep it a secret, or feel ashamed of it. I spent most of my teen years attending school illegally in my father's sleepy hometown; I was intensely aware that I needed to seem as normal as possible to avoid detection. I didn't completely know the consequences, but I was certain that if people found out, I would get removed to foster care and end up in a new school.

Left: 7th grade yearbook picture. We were living with my godmother when this was taken, but by Christmas, we were in a shelter. Right: 8th grade yearbook picture. We were definitely homeless and I cut my own bangs. All images via Jessica Sutherland and used with permission.

Foster care sounded better than my makeshift life with my mother, but I refused to risk losing my school. My school was my safest place, full of friends I'd known forever — even though I had to keep secrets from them. After spending just one week in a Cleveland public school while staying at a downtown shelter in seventh grade, I was very aware of the quality of education I would lose if we ever got caught. My suburban school was the ticket to the future I knew I was supposed to have: a college education.

I was given several advantages at birth — an able body, an active imagination, a pretty face. From a young age, I developed a sense of entitlement to go with them. When a stranger drew my portrait on a bus when I was in preschool, my mother told me it was because I was the most extraordinary little girl in the world. My early elementary years were spent in a magnet school that laid a great academic foundation and cultivated big dreams. Even when my grades dropped, as homelessness became my normal existence, it never occurred to me that I might not go to college.

I was finally removed to foster care senior year, but thanks to some powerful and clever people, I didn't miss a day at my beloved high school. However, I wasn't able to take my college entrance exams until after graduating — at the top third of my class (literally, I was 101 out of 303). I took the ACT the Saturday after receiving my diploma, with none of the prep most of my friends had, and still managed to swing a 30. I was ecstatic: with that score and my decent GPA, I had a great chance of getting into college next year. I was certain that a life full of opportunity and success would follow.


I only got senior pictures because the photo company chose me to use in advertising, so they were free.

My foster parents made no mention of forcing me out of their home once I turned 18, but as my birthday loomed, I realized I had no plans for my life between high school and college. I began to work more hours at the 24-hour diner by the freeway, saving money and sleeping little. I knew I needed to figure out what happened next. I was about to be a legal adult, but I still felt very much like a foster kid.

A late-night TV commercial caught my notice after a long shift at the diner: the nearest state school, Cleveland State University, was still accepting applications. I dragged a dear friend on a campus tour the following week. It was weird to be choosing a college in July. My friend was going to a fancy private school a few hours away, but she validated my excitement when we toured the largely commuter school's lone dormitory, a converted Holiday Inn.

“I can see you living here," she said. And so I applied.

At my interview, the admissions officer asked me why, with stats like mine, I would ever apply there. At the time, the school was not known for high standards of admission.

I didn't tell her I was a foster kid with nowhere else to go; I didn't tell her it was my only chance to avoid a gap year; I didn't tell her the structure of the dorm seemed like a better idea than living on my own at 18. I simply expressed my desire to learn.

My acceptance letter arrived within the week. My beautiful parents allowed me to stay with them, rent-free, for the two months between my birthday and the dorm's move-in day. I checked the right boxes on my FAFSA and got grants and academic scholarships I needed to cover most of my expenses. I walked onto two sports teams, in order to cover the rest without loans.

I was going to college, without a gap year interrupting my education. But it never occurred to me that I might not graduate.

"However, a familiar panic set in: where would I live until then? I didn't want to take summer classes just so I could keep my dorm room."

I breezed through my freshman and sophomore years. Those are the days I think of fondly as my most typical college experience.

As a cheerleader for a Division I basketball team, and a mid-distance runner, I was more sheltered and supported than I realized. A small staff oversaw my medical health, while another tracked my academic performance and guided me towards graduation. Thanks to mandatory team study halls and frequent physical therapy in the training room, most of my social circle was comprised of other athletes.

Getting tossed in the air as a CSU Vikings cheerleader.

I traveled for my teams, and I traveled with my friends. I spent spring break in Florida and threw up in the sink of a beachfront McDonald's (to this day, I can't hold my alcohol). I was assigned a crazy roommate who used to stand over me in my sleep, but it wasn't until she threatened to throw me out of a window, in front of our RA, that I learned that I could do something about it. I was upgraded to a large single, and my baseball-playing boyfriend began to spend the night most of the time. I worked at a ridiculously expensive clothing store in a nearby mall.

I was a normal college kid.

Freshman year.

By the end of sophomore year, I was eager to keep up with my friends who felt they were too old for the dorm. I agreed to move into a house with a fellow athlete that coming fall.

However, a familiar panic set in: where would I live until then? I didn't want to take summer classes just so I could keep my dorm room. Even if I did, I would still have to move out of the dorm for two weeks between semesters. I'd spent those closures at my foster parents' house in the past, but the room where I slept had since been converted to an office.

“I have an idea," my baseball-playing boyfriend said to me one night. “You should move into my room for the summer. My mom won't care." He was headed out of state, to play in some competitive league for the entire summer.

“No way. I could never ask her to do that. She'd never say yes."

“I already asked her. She already did."

"Nobody was keeping me in line; nobody was telling me I was allowed to make mistakes."

Junior year was a disaster. My friend and I found an apartment, but she secretly decided to transfer schools mid-year, so she never signed the lease. When she moved out, I was responsible for more rent than I could afford. I soon began working at a downtown brewery more, and going to school less. There was nobody to ask for help or guidance, and my attempts to live with other roommates failed miserably.

Ultimately, I broke the lease and moved into a much cheaper and crummier apartment in a much worse neighborhood. My baseball-playing boyfriend and I fought constantly, and finally broke up. I dabbled in a different major, and my grades plummeted. I'd quit athletics that year, and my life suddenly lacked the excitement and structure it once had. Nobody was keeping me in line; nobody was telling me I was allowed to make mistakes.

For the first time in my life, I got an F on my report card. I decided I needed to take a semester off.

When I told my family about leaving school, nobody challenged me. Nobody told me it was a bad idea to drop out, that nearly half of college dropouts will never return to finish their degree. At 20, completely on my own, I needed an advocate, a mentor, a bossy guide to force me to take the harder road.

But as much as I needed a kick in the butt, nobody told me to keep going. So I didn't.

I dropped out for what became five years, before finally hitting a ceiling at my sales job that could only be shattered with either three more years of experience or a college degree. My boss had always insisted that I was too good for sales, and he strongly encouraged me to finish my bachelor's so I could have more choices.

So, at 25 years of age, I decided to finish what I had started, and returned to Cleveland State as a junior. I didn't have the support of the athletic department, but I had enough life experience to navigate the madness of choosing the right classes and filling out endless paperwork. I knew how to pay bills and keep a roof over my head.

In the meantime, Cleveland State had made vast improvements, and so tuition had tripled. I had no choice but to take out loans to offset what grants didn't cover. I took work as a cocktail waitress to pay my bills.

My first Film Festival, with a film I made in undergrad.

In 18 months, I had my degree — and decided to continue my education even further. After internships and student projects at local news stations and with the Cleveland Indians, I knew I wanted to work in film and television. I had always fantasized about attending film school, but it wasn't until two of my CSU professors pushed me to apply that I thought I might actually get accepted. They were right about me: I got in everywhere I applied, and chose the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts for my Master of Fine Arts.

While packing to move to Los Angeles, I found a box with abandoned applications and glossy USC brochures from years past. USC had been my dream school for nearly a decade, especially while I was dropped out of college. I smiled to myself as I realized how far I'd come. That abandoned dream was about to become reality.

By 2012, I had a master's degree from USC and a good job at Yahoo!, which I thought was everything I wanted. I always knew I would tell my story one day; now that I had a happy ending, I had the power to help other homeless kids like I once was.

Graduating USC.

Eventually, I went to observe “Mondays at the Mission," a wonderful life skills class for teenagers at the Union Rescue Mission on Los Angeles' Skid Row. When a scheduled speaker got stuck in traffic, I was asked to share my story as a backup. I remember feeling unbelievably nervous. Though it was my story, there was a lot to say, and I had nothing prepared. Before I could say no, founder Christopher Kai assured me that my story was worth telling. I pushed through, speaking for 45 minutes.

I wanted those children to know they had nothing to be ashamed of, that homelessness is not permanent, and that scars heal. Most importantly, I wanted them to learn to ask for help. Once I'd learned to ask for help, to accept it, and to trust others, my life got so much better. I told them that nobody was waiting for them to fail. They had to be brave and open up to trusted adults.

My speech captivated the kids. One student asked me why I didn't cry as I told my sad story. I said that even when things hurt us, wounds heal. Scars remind us of the pain we've survived, but they themselves do not hurt anymore.

After class, a soft-spoken boy named James lingered. I only came up to his shoulders, but his shyness made him seem half my size. “Do you think you could help me get into college?" he asked.

I took a deep breath and looked him in the eye. I'd barely gotten into college myself, but…

“Absolutely."

The first photo James and I ever took together.

A year later, my young friend was accepted into 9 out of the 13 schools he'd applied to. In the end, he chose Howard University. He also chose student loans, which are, with rare exception, a necessary evil when attempting to better oneself through higher education.

When his Parent PLUS loans were declined, due — somewhat ironically — to his family's poverty, I created a crowd-funder for him on Tumblr, using the hashtag #HomelessToHoward. It went viral overnight. Within two weeks, we'd raised so much money that I had to apply to start a nonprofit in order to protect the funding as scholarship, rather than income.

I had a master's degree in my dream field, from my dream school; I was on track to a decent career as a producer. While I'd always hoped to inspire young people with my story one day, I hadn't planned to give up my producing career just as it began. I was ill-equipped to run a nonprofit to help homeless kids. But by this point, I'd realized that my life doesn't always go according to plan.

"Yet somehow, when all was nearly lost, someone always saved my day, cheered me on, and pushed me forward. What if Homeless to Higher Ed could be that someone for the 56,000 homeless kids in our colleges today?"

Most nonprofits start with an idea. Planning comes next, then fundraising, and then hopefully publicity. My organization, Homeless to Higher Ed, was built in reverse: We raised money and went public before I knew what our precise mission would be.

I watched my young mentee closely as he transitioned to a college student and mini-celebrity. I quickly realized that money didn't provide everything he needed to thrive; there was so much more to it than that. So I began researching homeless students in American colleges. And I was shocked to find that I could see myself in the statistics.

There were over 56,000 homeless and aged-out foster youth enrolled in American colleges in 2014. I learned that more than 90% of them won't graduate within six years. It took me nine years to get my bachelor's.

Even in a dismal economy, unemployment rates decrease as education level rises: to wit, education is the most reliable escape from poverty. And the most consistent indicator of success in college is whether or not the student's parents attended college. I had no college-educated relatives guiding me.

I also learned that homeless college students tend to be secretive. Fiercely independent. Eager to fit in. Afraid they have no right to be in college. Ashamed of their poverty. Paranoid about what poverty says about them to others. These traits combine to make them hard to identify — and it's even more challenging to get homeless students to accept help, much less ask for it. Daresay that most of them think they don't need it.

I'd never really thought about the odds that I'd beaten to get where I was. To me, it was the only normal course for my life, and failure wasn't an option. Except, of course, for all those times when it was.

Yet somehow, when all was nearly lost, someone always saved my day, cheered me on, and pushed me forward. What if Homeless to Higher Ed could be that someone for the 56,000 homeless kids in our colleges today?

“Homeless college students? That's a thing?"

Six months after incorporating the nonprofit, I had our mission: to normalize the college experience for homeless and aged-out foster youth. This also means that we need to de-stigmatize homelessness, so students in need will self-identify and get the help they need.

I often joke that my greatest shame is now my claim to fame. It's now impossible to Google me and not know that I spent a long time homeless. It's not something I've hidden about myself; I've been open about my childhood for my entire adult life. However, homeless students in college are often quite ashamed of their background, and struggle mightily to hide it. In fact, that 56,000 number is likely just a fraction of the actual homeless and aged-out foster youth in American colleges today, since it's based solely on students' willingness to self-report.

9 times out of 10, whenever I tell someone that I am building an organization that helps normalize the college experience for homeless students, the reaction is, “Homeless college students? That's a thing?"

Yeah. It's a thing. But it doesn't have to be.

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3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.




Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.


Parker lives with depression. And, she says, staying on top of her mental health is absolutely crucial.

"The bottom line is that mental health is health," she says over email. "My depression stops me from being productive at my job the same way a broken hand would slow me down since I wouldn't be able to type very well."

work emails, depression, office emails, community

Madalyn Parker was honest with her colleagues about her situation.

Photo courtesy Madalyn Parker.

She sent an email to her colleagues, telling them the honest reason why she was taking the time off.

"Hopefully," she wrote to them, "I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%."

Soon after the message was sent, the CEO of Parker's company wrote back:

"Hey Madalyn,

I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."

Moved by her CEO's response, Parker posted the email exchange to Twitter.

The tweet, published on June 30, 2017, has since gone viral, amassing 45,000 likes and 16,000 retweets.

"It's nice to see some warm, fuzzy feelings pass around the internet for once," Parker says of the response to her tweet. "I've been absolutely blown away by the magnitude though. I didn't expect so much attention!"

Even more impressive than the tweet's reach, however, were the heartfelt responses it got.

"Thanks for giving me hope that I can find a job as I am," wrote one person, who opened up about living with panic attacks. "That is bloody incredible," chimed in another. "What a fantastic CEO you have."

Some users, however, questioned why there needs to be a difference between vacation time and sick days; after all, one asked, aren't vacations intended to improve our mental well-being?

That ignores an important distinction, Parker said — both in how we perceive sick days and vacation days and in how that time away from work is actually being spent.

"I took an entire month off to do partial hospitalization last summer and that was sick leave," she wrote back. "I still felt like I could use vacation time because I didn't use it and it's a separate concept."

Many users were astounded that a CEO would be that understanding of an employee's mental health needs.

They were even more surprised that the CEO thanked her for sharing her personal experience with caring for her mental health.

After all, there's still a great amount of stigma associated with mental illness in the workplace, which keeps many of us from speaking up to our colleagues when we need help or need a break to focus on ourselves. We fear being seen as "weak" or less committed to our work. We might even fear losing our job.

Ben Congleton, the CEO of Parker's company, Olark, even joined the conversation himself.

In a blog post on Medium, Congleton wrote about the need for more business leaders to prioritize paid sick leave, fight to curb the stigma surrounding mental illness in the workplace, and see their employees as people first.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance," Congleton wrote. "When an athlete is injured, they sit on the bench and recover. Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different."


This article originally appeared on 07.11.17

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Hospice nurses reveal people's biggest regrets before death

Death and dying isn't a pleasant subject to talk about, though there's likely not one living person who has not been touched by death in some way. But the finality of death makes people wonder if people have any regrets from their life that they wish they could do over.

Author, Matthew Kelly decided to ask hospice nurses what they've heard patients reveal regretting before they died. The list was fairly long but also heartbreakingly simple. Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to make more money in order to feel financially secure enough to vacation regularly or even retire.

Of course there would be some regrets around working too much, but that regret only made the list once. There are 23 other regrets people seemed to share and we'll get into them below.


One of the first ones on the list is, "I wish I had more courage to just be my self." Oof. That stings a bit. People spend so much time trying to make sure they're well liked by others that it seems that some people forget to focus on just being themselves. People may hide their true selves for a multitude of reasons such as safety or fear of abandonment depending on what part of their identity they were hiding.

Another common regret is, "I wish I had taken more risks." Risks can be hard when you have other people depending on you for survival. It makes sense that some people might look back on their life and think of all the risks they didn't take, whether it be due to anxiety or security.

Listen to the whole list below:

So many regrets on the list are things that people can start doing now. Like wishing to love more or taking better care of themselves. It's never too late to start caring for yourself or being outwardly more loving. In fact, nothing on the list is overly complex. They're all heartbreakingly simple things that people have the ability to do before their time comes.

Maybe this list will inspire others to make a few tweaks in their life to work towards doing these things while they still can. Maybe it will cause people to realize they're already well on their way to not having any of the regrets listed. Either way, it's serves as a reminder to live life in the best way that you can while still being true to yourself.

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.


Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.


Here are the 11 things that Newman agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children

@teresakayenewman

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children, as a #teacher and soon to be mom.

1. No iPads

“All I’m going to say is my kid has a whole world to explore and none of that has to do with being stuck in front of a tablet.”

2. No smartphone until high school

“Kids that are younger than that age do not know internet safety to a point where I feel comfortable letting them have free reign of the internet.”

3. Teaching the value of education

“What I’m going to teach them is [education] has nothing to do with how much money you’re making or how successful you’ll be professionally. But you will still value it, nonetheless. You will go with it as far as you possibly can, and then once you’re done with it, you can do whatever you want.”

4. Respect your teachers and treat them well

“This may be biased because I am a teacher, but everyone who has gone through a professional degree program and has put in the time and is there, giving you the quality education, deserves some type of attention and deserves to be treated well.”

5. Be kind to elderly folks

“If they’re on public transportation and they’re sitting down and there’s an old lady standing next to them and there are no other seats available, my child will know to stand up and give that lady his seat.”


6. Yes ma’am

Newman will teach her kid to use the terms sir and ma’am when speaking to adults. “It does not matter your age or status in society, as long as they are respecting their pronouns, that’s how we’re gonna be talking to other people.”

7. Greetings and gratitude

“Simple greetings and simple terms of gratitude are just not being taught like they used to. I think it’s really sad.”

8. Consequences for poor behavior

“If they’re neglecting their schoolwork and not doing what they’re supposed to do, they get their technology taken away. … Simple things like this are pretty common sense and I’m not sure why they’re not being done anymore.”

9. Respect adult conversations and spaces

“They don’t get to interrupt 2 adults speaking to each other. They don’t get to come and butt in at an inappropriate time when 2 people are talking to each other."

10. Clean your mess

“My child is going to put as much work in the house as we are regardless of whether he’s paying rent out of his own pocket or not. That’s because when my son becomes an adult, I want him to be a partner or a spouse or a roommate that someone is proud to have around.”

11. Bedtime

“I don’t care how old my kid is as long as he is living under my roof as a minor; he’s gonna have some sort of bedtime. But this staying up until 3 or 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning or pulling all-nighters like kids are used to … is absolutely not normal. And I’m not going to have a kid that’s staying up that late and then not waking up the next day.”


This article originally appeared on 12.20.23


Gen X invented the mix tape and we have the playlists to prove it.

Gen X is famous for being forgotten in most discussions of generations, which is hilarious because Gen X is totally awesome. Everybody says so (when they remember we exist).

Seriously, though, if you need proof that Gen X is fabulous, look no further than our playlists. The generation born between the mid-60s and the early 80s might just have the most varied and eclectic of all musical tastes. Our hippie/classic rocker parents passed down their 60s and 70s tunes, then we got the 80s in all its power ballad glory, then a brief 50s music revival during the 80s, then the rise of hip-hop, rap and grunge in the 90s.

A Gen X mom shared a video demonstrating the wide range of music she listens to ,and it's 100% familiar to those of us in our 40s and 50s.


As Word up with Jen points out, Gen X was "born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and partied in the 90s," cementing every decade's jams in our memory, from Anne Murray to Snoop Dog. Watch:

@wordup_withjen

Ya never know what you’re gonna get 🤷‍♀️ #genx #70sbaby #raisedinthe80s #partiedinthe90s #carjams

The comments confirm that Gen X really does have the bead on everyone's beats.

"I’m glad I’m not the only polyjamorous gen x out there."

"So I’m not the only one with a playlist that looks like it belongs to some with multiple personalities? This is a relief."

"Gen X is the only generation that covered so many genres of music AND decades of music. Don't give me the aux unless ur ready for a lesson in music."

"SO true!! You may get Metallica, you may get NWA, you may get Donny Osmond,you may get Duran Duran…who knows? 😂👏"

"I can relate 100%! It's not just one genre or decade. If you knew songs by NWA, Dre, Snoop, you also knew country songs by Shania, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and metal songs from Metallica to Pantera and so on. Even if you had a specific genre of music like me (90's hip hop/rap/pop) you also knew Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses by the very first riff and rocked the hell out of it lol. Love Gen X life!"

"I think Gen X hit the jackpot culturally. Signed, a Millennial."

Naturally, every individual has their own musical tastes, and people from other generations can certainly appreciate different music genres. But Gen X really has had the biggest exposure to a mix of musical styles during our formative. years. Our ingrained musical knowledge would make us excellent "Humm…ble" competitors, and we can sing along with pretty much anything pre-Y2K. (Some of us got Mom Brain in the 2000s that ruined us for memorizing lyrics to newer songs, but we can sing "Hotel California," "Sister Christian" and "Baby Got Back" in our sleep.)

The funniest thing about this is that the younger generations only know "playlists" as digital collections. Never will they know the hours of work that went into creating the "playlist" known as the mixed tape. Especially a mixed tape from the radio, where you curse the DJ for talking through the entire intro of the song. Even making mixed CDs took a lot of effort compared to few clicks it takes today to piece together a playlist.

Gen X may have its issues—all that angst didn't come out of nowhere—but when it comes to music, we are the unbeatable generation.

Former Secret Service Special agent Evy Poumpouras speaks at a Ted Talk.


In a revealing interview with Steven Bartlett on his “Dairy of a CEO” podcast, former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shared how to get people to do what you want them to do.

The key, according to Poumpouras, is to understand what motivates them. Once you know the psychological framework behind what makes them tick, you can persuade them to behave as you like.

Poumpouras is the co-host of Bravo TV’s “Spy Games” competition series and author of “Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, Live Fearlessly.” She served in the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and protected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.


Poumpouras says that to get a “good read” on someone, it’s essential to listen.

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want

@steven

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want 👀 #podcast #podcastclips #stevenbartlett #diaryofaceo #specialagent #secretservice #security #evypoumpouras

The biggest mistake people make is they talk a lot,” Poumpouras said in the video clip. “Steven, if I'm doing all the talking and you're doing all the listening, you're learning everything about me. You're learning about what I care about, my values, my belief systems, getting a good read on me and I'm learning nothing about you.”

The former Secret Service Agent says that you should listen to determine the subject's motivational mindset. Are they motivated by money, sex, admiration, status, freedom, relationships, or safety?

“Everybody's motivated by something different. But I have to hear you and pay attention to you to understand what that is. Everybody's purpose is different,” she continued. “If you give people enough space, they will reveal themselves to you.”

It’s also a wonderful tactic because your subject will have no idea they are part of a manipulation because they are the ones doing the talking. It’s nearly impossible to give yourself away when you’re sitting in silence.

Understanding what motivates people is essential when protecting the safety of the nation’s most important assets and dealing with shady, dangerous people. However, it can also benefit the layperson by giving us a framework to understand people better. Knowing what motivates someone is very important, whether you’re on a date, in a business deal, or in a leadership role at work.

It’s also very important when raising children or training an animal.

Understanding your personal motivators is also essential for making the best choices in life. It helps us determine which actions will be genuinely beneficial. It’s also a great way to ensure that we are involved with people, organizations, and activities for the right reasons.

Productivity consultant Ashley Janssen says the key to understanding your motives is knowing your values.

"When you know what you value, you can identify how an activity or goal will support and foster those values," Janssen writes. "When you decide to try something, consider whether it’s what you think you should want to do or what someone else has said you should do. Those conditions are often not enough to sustain a behavior or activity. It’s hard to keep moving forward on something that you don’t really care about or are not invested in."