New Friends and Sweet Tea

Adventures of Moving to a New Place


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The Official Cody 2015 Summer Playlist

Given that Hillary Clinton has already released her official playlist and we’re pretty much on the same level, I decided to line up my own list of 22 sweet summer tunes to jam out to in the car. I didn’t repeat any artists so that I could get a lot of different sounds, but all the music was selected with the theme “having fun with friends” in mind. Hope you enjoy!

Thank you to Natasa K. for the idea. I had a lot of fun putting this together!

You can find the playlist on Spotify. It is simply called “Summer” and is by cjmckee-6.

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1. Starfish (Original Mix) – Savant

This is a really fun electronic beat put together by the same people who blew the speakers out of my Tahoe with their song “The Third Eye.” Found this one roadtripping with friends in a playlist called “Rave Night” (check it out, it’s worth it). It’s a little bit of a build up, but the jam is pretty nice for head bobbing.

2. Anklebiters – Paramore

I’ve already shifted genres on you. Paramore is great in general, but I picked this song because of the message. This song is all about letting go and not caring what other people think. I listen to this song as a reminder to myself, and I hope everyone else enjoys it too. Really enjoy yourself this summer and don’t get tied down.

3. Heart Attack – Demi Lovato

I really think Demi is a talented singer (especially for the wave of actresses turned musicians a few years ago) and this one is just a fun song with a good beat. There’s no shame in belting out this song by yourself or with friends.

4. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

This is such a fun summer song. I can’t say much more about it than every time I hear it, it puts me in a better mood. Turns a car into an instant dance party. It really sounds like montage music for a waterpark party. If anyone wants to invite me to a waterpark party I mean I’m pretty available…

5. Animals – Martin Garrix

Another one of those electronic songs. A really chill beat that goes well with some head bobbing (notice a theme?). I really love this song most of all because it got stuck in Trevor’s head for about a week and drove him crazy. This is for you, bud.

6. Boneless – Steve Aoki

This is actually Patrick’s roadtrip song. Really catchy beat that almost requires you to bob your head. Go ahead and turn up the speakers. It’s party time. Nothing more to say about that.

7. GDFR – Flo Rida

Everyone loves synthesized saxophone, even if they can’t tell that’s what it is. This one is from when I got a ride home from a friend Paige and she turned the speakers up to deafening levels. Goes well with a side of strobe lights and lack of shame. (This one is explicit so look out if that’s something you don’t like).

8. I Bet My Life – Imagine Dragons

Here’s a break from the bass-heavy mixes of 5-7. I really love to sing along to this one. You may also notice I have a taste for some weird sounds in music, and this is no exception. It has a really bright sound that works well with summer! And Imagine Dragons! Who doesn’t love dragons?

9. Stronger – Kanye West

There are two kinds of Kanye. There is modern Kanye, who ruins your ears with absurd sounds and forces fans to grit their teeth and say “yeah it’s…greattt.” There is also old Kanye, who laid down fresh beats and is so much fun to listen to. Luckily this is old Kanye. Enjoy. It’s Kanye, so it’s explicit. Sorry~

10. Cool Kids – Echosmith

I can’t be all hipster and say I liked Echosmith before they were popular, but I do really enjoy their sound. For a bunch of kids out of L.A., they sound amazing.

11. Fireball – Pitbull

This is on here for the annoyingly-catchy beat. Shimmy shimmy shimmy shimmy. FIREBALL!

12. #SELFIE – The Chainsmokers

This song is really funny. Have a little fun and laugh at yourselves. This is us. Sorry guys. Oh yeah, and the beat is really nice if you’re not laughing. The music video is just as good. I promise.

13. Ugly Heart – G. R. L.

I only heard this song a couple times before I decided to put it on this list. I really love the mix between light electronic and pop sound. Perfect for summer and hanging out with friends by the pool.

14. Drinking From the Bottle – Calvin Harris

Not a super popular one either. I think the beat is really fun and, as you can tell, I love electronic music. Every summer needs a little synthesizer. Or a lot. Yeah, probably a lot.

15. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – OMI

Oh I know you’ve heard this one. I don’t know the infatuation with cheerleaders since I kinda only meet the kids in the AP classes (unless you’re Lucy and did cheerleading while getting into Stanford come on). I do like when people use the trumpet sound in popular songs. Yay band. ❤

16. Leaving You – Audien

Another one that isn’t so popular. I was really racking my brain for songs with good bass and a bright summer sound. Just imagine this with strobe lights. Or get strobe lights. Or get me strobe lights. Any combination really.

17. Waiting for Love – Avicii

Piano?? No not really. Just a little bit. A lot like the last song, just a lot of bright sounds with good bass. Not too much to say about this one, except I like a simple beat once in a while.

18. You Know You Like It – DJ Snake

TURN DOWN FOR W – ? Oh it’s not that song. You’ve probably heard this one, too. I always wanted to play this one on the ole’ PVC pipes. You know you like it but it drives you insane.

19. Poison – Rita Ora

Not so popular (pretty obvious theme with Cody music, eh?). The only thing that comes to mind when I hear this one is: WELCOME TO SUMMER.

20. Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso

This is an empowering one to belt out to in the car. If this doesn’t make you feel better, I don’t know what will. Be an individual. Have some fun. HIT ME WITH THE SYNTH.

21. Worth It – Fifth Harmony

What a copout. “Cody you suck!” “What is this garbage?” “You’re the worst!” Nah man. If you have any sass in you at all, it comes out in this song. Show me some attitude. All of it. No, wait, too much. There you go.

22. Get Low – Dillon Francis

Don’t be fooled by the name – this isn’t only for twerking. Heavy bass if you can handle it. Lots of head bobbing and strobe light potential. Such a strange mixture of sounds only intended for your listening and dancing pleasure. Feel free to twerk to this one, I guess. Do whatever you want.

And that’s all for this update. Pretty lengthy, I know. I hope everyone enjoys the playlist, takes songs from it, adds songs to it, and just has fun. Please send me all your suggestions for songs! I’m sure I’ll be adding songs to this as time goes on. Thank you everyone for reading!

“Summer” by cjmckee-6


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The Valedictorian Speech I Never Gave

By no means did I earn the honor of valedictorian (in fact not really even close), and by no means am I upset. The girl who earned the honor has been putting in more work than I can even conceive. This is not an anger rant about moving and transferring grades. I am not the best at what I do, but I do have something to say after graduating as a bit of a congratulations and good luck to the class of 2015.

To the class of 2015, wherever you may reside,

If you didn’t already think I was a nerd, I’ll just remind you with some background information. When writing a computer program to play a game, there is a concept known as “move optimization.” This is an algorithm that allows the computer to make the “optimal” move to reach its end goal in the fewest number of turns. What is useful to us is not necessarily the move itself, but instead the way the value of a move is calculated. One way that move optimization is calculated is by finding the number of favorable positions that have the potential to result from a move.

More specifically, the value of a move is based on the sum of all its potential states. Let me apply this to the class of 2015. The value of each individual person, or the class as a whole, is not based on what they have done. Grades no longer matter. Sports are over. Extracurriculars have ended. Instead, the value of each individual person lies in their potential. What is yet to be done. The best moves in a game are the ones that give the most freedom; the largest capacity for success in various ways. This is our strength as a class.

We’re not all valedictorians. We’re not all varsity football players. We’re not all class presidents. However, I graduated with 518 individuals with radically different skillsets who have the work ethic to realize their potential. The class of 2015 carries with it the vast capability of success that results from creative minds who are willing to put in the hours to change the world around them. The potential of the students walking across the stage on Friday, June 5th was staggering. I could feel it from the most decorated students to the ones who graduated in a regular black gown.

Our class earned over 1.5 million dollars of scholarships. Those aren’t all academic. Football, baseball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, band, choir, orchestra, dance, and leadership ability. When you look around at your graduating class ─ at any individual ─ do not judge them based on what they’ve done. They may have 12 cords and three stoles or they may have nothing. None of that matters anymore. All that matters is the ability within them to achieve. They aspire to things that you wouldn’t understand. Our talents are spread so far that the potential for us is limitless. The future is bright for everyone in the class of 2015.

Back to the computer program. It is looking for the move with the most potential. Well, that’s us. The class of 2015 has the most potential of any class I’ve ever seen. We have only the option to succeed left in front of us. The possibilities are endless for us. There is only one thing left to do for this year’s graduates: make the move. Step out into the world and achieve.

High school graduation is not an achievement. It is a milestone marking our first step. May we never forget who we are and where we came from.

Congratulations to the class of 2015,

– Cody


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The Ultimate Guide to Gift Giving

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As many of you know, I am pretty good about giving gifts. I find out the birthdays for my closest friends and I bring them silly gifts and accompany them with handmade cards. If any of you are wondering how I always manage to get the best possible gift, I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret. This is my guide to giving gifts that make everyone smile (and hate you a little).

Step 1: Who is receiving the gift?

One of the most important aspects of gift giving is to know who you are buying a gift for. You should know what they like, what their hobbies and interests are, and what they would want in a gift. First off, think of the most practical thing that they could use. Anything they would want or need that would make a great gift.

Throw it out.

That’s the worst possible idea. If you buy them something they’ll actually use, you’ve failed. Gift giving has two aspects when you buy for friends. It has an aspect of: “Wow I’m so glad you bought me a gift!” as well as the equally important: “Why would you buy me this?”

Step 2: Classic Slippers

Everyone likes slippers, and they’re incredibly impractical. In my own experience, they make great gifts because the premise of slippers is pretty funny in and of itself. Buy a gift that makes you laugh. Buy a golf player a tank top that says “#SWOLE” because, come on, he plays golf. (Beware: you will get looks at Wal-Mart while carrying it around because people think you’re buying it for yourself)

Puns are also very important in gifts. If you, for instance, know an asian girl whose last name happens to sound like the word “choo,” you should try and find her a train gift. A toy train. Or a real one. I’m not sure how wealthy you are.

Step 3: Pajamas are funny

Really this isn’t a step. Just remember that for guys and girls alike, pajamas are hilarious in general and also because you can buy them with a puppy wearing a bow tie on them. Just letting you know.

Step 4: You’re probably spending too much

A great gift, especially a joke gift, doesn’t come from the wallet. I usually only shop at Wal-Mart. That’s not only for gifts. They have really reasonable prices. Seriously.

A $10-$15 cap is pretty generous, but works well. Hopefully you’re like me and you have so few friends that you only buy gifts once every 8 months or so. If you have a job, don’t worry so much about this step. You can also usually collect a few dollars on the side of the road with a piece of cardboard that reads: “Can you help me with my first world problems?”

Step 5: The Card

The card is incredibly important. Handmade cards rely heavily on puns and make the card personal. Stay away from crayons. Colored pencils work well.

It’s important to know about their hobbies and play off of that, although a generic card saying: “Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah! Get Well Soon! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” is a pretty funny and safe bet. I’ll leave this up to you since my personal brand of humor usually produces cricket sounds and loud BOO’s from my friends.

And that’s all I have for you! It’s a pretty simple process. Realistically, walk into Wal-Mart and buy something that makes you laugh and hope that your friend wasn’t actually expecting something nice. Gifts are a really fun and inexpensive way to brighten someone’s day and make them smile!

In any event, my birthday is coming up. I just want to make sure everyone knows I like slippers.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be writing more like this soon. Let me know what guides I should be working on next! 🙂


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The Revival

As my senior year in high school comes to a close and my college career creeps nearer, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue this blog. Yes, it has been seven months since I posted. Hopefully, this will get you caught up on my life and what I’ve learned this year.

College

I have accepted my scholarship to attend the Clemson University Calhoun Honors College in the fall. I’ll be majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematical Science. I know, not exactly a surprise I haven’t met too many people since moving here, is it? Anyways, the rundown is as follows:

Clemson Honors – Accepted

Georgia Institute of Technology – Accepted

Vanderbilt University – Waitlisted

Duke University – Rejected

University of Chicago – Rejected

Columbia University – Rejected

At first, I was disappointed with the news. I hadn’t gotten into any of my top choices! Since then, however, I found that it doesn’t matter where you go. It matters a whole lot more what you do with it. I can’t wait to begin my career at Clemson University, especially with the opportunities I’ve been afforded in the Creative Inquiry Undergraduate Research program (I have an interview on Friday for a research group funded by NASA!). I’ll be playing intramural tennis and taking part in as much as I can.

Tennis

Speaking of tennis, I’m playing in the #6 spot on the varsity team now. We gained two new great players ahead of me, which pushed me down to the #9 spot. Then I beat the three players in front of me (what happened my goodness) to claim my starting spot. We’re quite frankly the second best team in the state at this point, with only the three-year defending state champs in our way (they took 7th in nationals last year, too).  I’ve gotten a lot more consistent and I’m able to hit great shots, which makes tennis way more fun. I thought it was fun when I was terrible, so it’s great now that I don’t hit the ball out all the time!

Social Life

I haven’t made a lot of new friends recently, only because having five AP classes in the day narrows down the potential friends to choose from. I’ve got a girlfriend and her name is Hannah. She’s pretty, smart, funny, talented, etc. She’ll be attending her own honors college about three hours away from me.

My best friend got into Duke and Stanford─totally leaving me in the dust. He’s got a tough choice ahead of him. I honestly wish him the best (which he’ll get, I mean, Stanford or Duke).

Programming

I’m a pretty huge nerd, as many of you know. I’ve been playing around with some basic programming in HTML/CSS, Javascript, and jQuery. The stuff I’ve created is really simple, but it challenged me to think about stuff in a different way. The very first one I made was for a use: I was too lazy to calculate my own GPA. I wrote a program to take input from the user and calculate it for them.

That can be found here: tinyurl.com/scgpacalc

After that, I wrote a Rock-Paper-Scissors game that relies on a random number generator to select its moves. You should win about a third of the time. Unless you’re Ron.

That can be found here: tinyurl.com/simplerps

Finally, my biggest and proudest achievement. I wrote a Go Fish game from scratch where you play against the computer. It runs on two random number generators and two dynamic lists of HTML elements that hold cards for the user and the computer. This took me around 11 hours on a Saturday night and Sunday morning.

That can be found here: tinyurl.com/codygofish

The Future

What am I doing with this blog now? I’m gonna hopefully continue writing through the summer and then after that possibly move to another blog. Please if you have any questions about what I’m up to or if I missed anything in this post, let me know! I miss you guys so much! I miss writing!

Anyways, that’s all for now. I think that’ll do for a little revival post. Catch you soon, guys.

~Cody


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My Life in Quotes

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Instead of telling you about myself, I had an idea for a different kind of post. This week, I contacted 20 of my closest friends and gave them what is, in theory, a simple task. I asked my friends to write a single sentence about me. About our friendship, one event, my personality, or anything else they wanted. These people come from many different places and I’ve met them under very different circumstances. I’m so glad I’ve met these people and I hold them very dear to me.

I’d like to say that I’m a very outgoing person who has lots of fun with life.

But don’t take my word for it.

The Old Life

These quotes come from some of my close friends before I moved. I wasn’t able to get in contact with everyone, but I got a few that might give a good idea of my past.

“For the most part he’s pretty okay, but I haven’t met anyone who is as smart as he is funny, caring, relatable and nice.” -Venkatesh

Venkatesh and I became very close sophomore year when we took AP Chem together. We found that together, we made the class a lot more fun. We starting hanging out more after school when we found that we shared interests in PC gaming. Venk and I still play games online all the time and we are still very close. 1 v 1 me.

“Cody is a thoughtful and honest friend; he leaves a positive and unforgettable impact on anyone he meets. <3” -Taylor

I remember meeting Taylor through the band program. She was so well-liked by everyone. I honestly just wanted to be friends with her because she was so welcoming and kind. We instantly hit it off and talked all the time. Taylor is probably one of the coolest girls I know. There’s something to be said about a girl who would take me to Starbuck’s so that we could get tiny cups of hot cocoa. Miss you loads, Taylor, and I hope you have a great time at OSU.

“Bro.” -Natasa

I really miss Nata$a from #bossnia. My very first day of high school band, I was moved so I sat next to her and I remember telling her “we are gonna be bros.” I didn’t even realize at the time how true it was. We became super close throughout that year and even though she dropped band, I made time to hang out with her and we talked all the time. She’s a very talented journalist and photographer. She has also since challenged me to a match of tennis, which I intend to fly back there and win.

“Regardless of how bad a day I was having, Cody was and still is the man who can always put me in a good mood…MAYOOOOOO!!!!” – Tommy

Tommy was the one who helped me out with trombone when I was first learning. I didn’t realize that in under two years we would become co-section leaders of the low brass. We became so close and hung out almost every day after school for ping pong and Super Smash Bros. Regarding the last part of this quote, we were playing Mario Kart online and we faced a worthy adversary whose name was simply “MAYOOOOOO.” Of course, when we saw this, we threw our hands up and yelled “MAYOOOOOO!” which prompted his mom to walk in and throw her arms up and yell “MAYOOOOOO!” When you can get your friend’s mom to yell MAYOOOOOO at the top of her lungs, you know you’re close.

“Cody epitomizes the number one quality that any person can provide to another: friendship; I love and miss that him a lot.” -Patrick

Although I’m not sold on Patrick’s sentence structure, I certainly miss him a great deal. We’ve known each other since the fourth grade. He introduced me to drum corps, he’s been an amazing friend, and he is one of the people that pushed me to be my best in music. The present he bought me as my going away present was a box that included approximately 26 pounds of candy. I miss you, dude. Big time. Keep your head up, bud.

“I don’t think it’s possible to covey everything about you in one sentence because there’s just so much and so many memories, but I think the best part about being your friend was experiencing the spontaneity with which you live life and smiling from it; it was anyone’s guess as to what you would say or do, and that was one of the joys of being around you.” – Lauren

Lauren is another one of my close friends from band. She always seemed intrigued by my antics. For those of you who know me, I’m a rather unpredictable and impulsive person. My plans and ideas are often unfounded in reason. These immediately translate into action before me or anyone else tells me the potential pitfalls of my behavior. Jousting on speaker carts? Check. Wiffle ball with a water bottle in the band room? Check. Barbecuing during lunch in Zach’s truck? Check. Keep it up, I hope you’ve found someone else to entertain you with their nonsensical actions, LARN.

“Cody is one of the strongest, most determined people I’ve met. His drive to get shit done is pretty amazing sometimes.”- Pat

When I told Pat that he wrote two sentences, he simply replied with “get over it nerd.” If you’re curious where my terrible work ethic, awesome people skills, and deep love for Arizona Iced Tea comes from, it’s Pat. I wanted to learn the ways of Pat, so I actually kinda just forced myself into his life. We had AP Stats together, where we did lots of puzzles and very little Statistics. He basically taught me everything that I know about not working hard but still getting good grades. But he also taught me about hard work and being accountable for your actions. Another interesting tidbit, he is also my mom. It’s Facebook official.

Drum Corps

When I marched drum corps this summer, I met some people I’ll never forget. As you can probably tell by these quotes, I was pretty arrogant when I marched. I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed playing the role of overconfident rookie, and it really boosted my self-confidence (maybe a little too much…?).

“You’re a great marcher, a good friend, a decent wrestler, and I hope you come back next summer.” -Nathan G.

“Cody has grown a lot since I’ve known him, and always makes me smile with his sarcastic pessimism and calling people out on their bs*.” -Jordan

My two section leaders became some of my best friends through tour. As I became a better marcher, they slowly began to accept me into their group and my life got way more fun. We made jokes (some were jokes, some were legitimate concerns that we tried to pass off as jokes) about our situation to forget the troubles we had. I looked up to these two so much, trying to model myself after them. I grew a lot in the sarcasm department this summer, as well, thanks to these two. I love you guys.

“Cody is good at learning how to deal with crap*.” -Nathan S.

Another one of my role models, I present Nathan. He had marched forever and he is incredibly talented. I specifically remember the day that I broke down in San Antonio and Nathan was there to say “Cody understands! He’s one of us!” It was a bad day already and I had just left my umbrella at the last housing site. It began to pour and I remember yelling “OKAY FINE TEXAS, YOU WIN.” This is when Nathan took me under his wing and taught me that my whole life is just terrible and I’ll have to learn to deal with it. Dibs on your spot in the back row.

“He knows he’s super smart, but only in a little bit of a cocky* way and he’s so funny that you don’t even care.” -Dana

Dana and I got to know each other incredibly well while we were both on the gimp squad (injured members) during all days and the first part of tour. We spent hours a day together in the medical room icing our ailments. I can honestly say Dana is one of my best friends in the whole world. It has to take something special for me to say that after only knowing her for three months. You’re full of surprises (I think you know what I mean). You better get that boot off and come march with me again. ❤

“You are very sarcastic and it is fun to watch you get angry.” -JT

JT was my seat partner during the summer. He always found a way to push my buttons. His antics always made me mad in the present, but a few minutes later I would realize how funny it was. You’re like the brother I never had. You make me smile 100% of the time and I would never wish for a different person to share my seat with all summer. But I must admit, it is really impressive that you made me hate anyone who ever eats an apple from the top down. Including myself.

“You may not talk a lot, but when you do it’s genuine. You may not smile all the time, but when you do it’s warming. Having you as a friend means having someone who I know honestly listens and tells me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear. You use your knowledge to help others rather than just benefit yourself and your maturity for your age sets you apart from the others. I love associating myself with you and glad to know I can call you my friend. :)” – Geana

Geana is another one who didn’t get the memo about one sentence. Geana is one of the realest people I’ve ever met. I’ll never get to march with her again, but we really made this summer count. There wasn’t anyone I could go to with my problems besides Geana. It seems odd that a 17 year old and a 21 year old could so easily have deep, heart to heart talks, but I only ever wanted to talk to her when I had troubles. I really hope this summer wasn’t the last time I see you. (Go Redcoats!)

The New Life

These people are those I’ve gotten close to since moving to the south. They’ve made me realize that it’s not how many people are in your life, it’s how you affect them that counts.

“Cody: the kid that willingly came to make posters at a stranger’s house for an event at his new school that he knew nothing about.” -Abby

This is very true. Abby has been a good friend and a loyal fan of my writing since the beginning. I helped out with poster making at her house for about six hours, during which I made one poster and helped glitter two more. She’s really funny and she takes her work very seriously, which is something that I admire. I’d be glad to help out with posters again any time you need!

“A guy who knows he’s clever, smart, and wise… And never shuts up about it.” -Hannah

Hannah hasn’t stopped making fun of me since the day I showed up. In fact, she’s still making fun of me right now. We’ve gotten super close and we hang out every Wednesday for drinks at Bojangles to keep up with each other. Honestly is a huge bully, but when you look past that, she’s really sweet and cares a lot. So as much as you say that I’m ugly and have no friends, I’m really glad to have you in my life. And for the record, you’re one of my friends. 😉

“If you had a money back guarantee, I would want my money back.” -Ron

Ron submitted 11 statements and decided on this one. Thanks, Ron. Let’s play tennis this weekend, okay?

“You’re quite often intriguing and unpredictable, but two things remain constant: those blue eyes and self-deprecating humor.” -Noelle

Noelle is also a blogger and she’s provided tons of support for me since I moved here. Super nice and always smiling, you’re a great presence to have around. You’re also a huge advocate to me about self-deprecating humor. When we talk, we seem to be in competition over who can make themself sound worse. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at (I mean besides Ron).

“Cody is a fantastically witty individual who can keep my spirits lifted even when I’m in the worst of moods.” -Lauren

Lauren is one of the people that I met on my first day of school. She was so nice to me. Without her, I’d have had no place to sit during lunch. We kept in really good contact over the summer while I was on tour and she was off in New York for ballet. I see her every day and I often try to play games where I shift back and forth from calming her nerves about an upcoming test to freaking her out with all the stuff that might be on it. I’d say we’ve stayed close friends. I always enjoy making you smile!

“You are an enigma; equipped with a sarcastic humor that amuses and a great outlook on life that inspires.” -Trey

I’ve never looked up to anyone my age as much as I do Trey. He has so much going for him. He is so clever and creative, I just want to copy his Instagram captions every time I see them. He is an amazing friend. Near the start of the year, he put his life on hold to come to a volleyball game with me. Neither of us knew anything about volleyball, either. You’ll get into any school that you want to. I seriously cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. Wish you the best man. P.S. your shoes are sick.

“He might annoy you, he might make fun of you, but most importantly he WILL make you feel special.” -Corinne

Oh how cute that I’m ending with a quote from Corinne. I can’t imagine my life without her. She’s made my life so much better just by being around. She waited all summer for me to get back from tour. I do my best to make her happy because she always puts a smile on my face. Keep killing it at volleyball, captain. I’ll be at every game to support you.

So that’s what others think of me. In just one sentence. Well, most people in just one sentence. If you have any other cool ideas that I should try for my blog, I’d love to hear them. Thank you so much for reading. 🙂


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How is Life Going, Cody?

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This blog is about my life as a new kid in a new city at a new school trying to fit in. Lately I’ve ignored my writing responsibilities and, possibly even worse, haven’t really written about my experiences. So what have you been up to? How is life going, Cody?

I’ve finished three weeks of school, and this year has already been going splendidly. I love all of my classes, and I love all the people in them (at least the ones I know). Since this is mostly written towards my friends back home, I want to let you know that I have in fact quit band. As unfortunate as it is, it was a decision that needed to be made. I don’t feel challenged in the ensembles that my school has to offer me, so it is not an effective use of my time. Instead, this year I am taking a computer science course where we write programs in Java and I am having a blast. For some reason, the students ask me questions instead of our teacher. Just a public service announcement: I know just as little as you do. I just like to play around and make programs that call people names.

As far as friends go, I haven’t exactly gained many. Being gone the entire summer has certainly impeded my early-year social life. I have a few important friends that I wouldn’t trade for a million, so I have no reason to complain. To be as cliché as possible, I have the most wonderful girlfriend in the world. That sounds like an overstatement, I know. But she’s simply perfect for me. I wouldn’t give her up for the world. I’ve also joined a couple of groups this year that I really enjoy and have introduced me to many new, interesting people at my school. I’m very excited for this year from a social perspective.

I’ve garnered a few new random interests this year, which seems to be my special skill. I find a lot of random things I’ve never tried before and become pretty okay at them (take tennis for example). Currently I’m a fan of photography. I’m just starting out, but I really love taking pictures and then doing the editing myself. It’s way more fun than slapping a filter on it and calling it good. My Instagram is slowly becoming more photography oriented with better pictures and (I’ve been told) some fairly clever captions. I’d really appreciate if you’d check it out because I’m having lots of fun with it. 🙂

From a sports perspective, I have a fall tennis league starting up here soon. Thank goodness I’ve finally got a team I can harass through GroupMe. I can actually play some tournaments now and possibly get a ranking for tennis (zero star recruit or bust). I’ve found myself again on the tennis court. I can just shut out all of the stress and worries of everyday life. Tennis continues to be my saving grace in my times of trouble.

So that’s really all that’s going on in my life. I want to update this every few days with more subject-oriented personal posts. Keep an eye out for this blog; I’m trying to return it to its former glory. Please contact me with comments or ideas for future posts. I’d love to hear them. Thank you for reading.


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Future

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Spoiler alert: I’m a senior. I’ve got a lot going on when it comes to school. When it comes to actually doing things in school, I’m certainly not doing much (Some people think that 5 AP classes is too much, but honestly those are the classes I enjoy). Outside of that, however, I have to worry about college. Where can I get in? How will I afford it? Who specializes in my major? DO THEY HAVE INTRAMURAL TENNIS? Some very stressful questions to find the answers to. In addition, I get to retake my SAT, take my subject tests, and take my ACT. I’ll be doing college visits closer to January, if at all, so I have to get into several colleges for my choice to even matter.

My plans for the future are largely still up in the air, but I have decided on a major in Economics. I really enjoy the way that economics gives us the tools to question the world around us. In Steven D. Levitt’s book Freakonomics, he applies these principles to show that what we believe is true can often be overturned by statistical evidence. The world is a game of incentives, which lead our real estate agents to cheat us, sump wrestlers to throw matches, and even teachers to cheat for their students. Essentially whatever we call conventional wisdom is actually what we believe because it is convenient for us. It usually acts as a veil, which Levitt attempts to lift with this interesting read. I love the way he uses economic principles like risk assessment and opportunity cost to explain the irrational decisions that people make on a regular basis.

An Economics degree is relatable to a business degree with a strong background in math. Many economists come out of college and have little trouble finding jobs in major corporations. Given my decent math ability and great interest in statistical models used for decision making, I am a huge fan of economics.

The colleges I plan to apply to include Duke University in Durham, NC, Columbia University in New York, NY, University of Chicago in Chicago, IL, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and Clemson University in Clemson, SC. My mom is rooting for Clemson, simply because it is cheaper and much closer to home. I also qualify for the honors program at Clemson, which would provide a very solid education. I am rooting for University of Chicago mainly for its legendary Economics program and Duke because it is closer and has a very strong Economics program as well. My test scores and GPA put me pretty well on track for all of these schools, but with acceptance rates like those at Columbia and UC, I’m awfully worried.

Another problem I’ve run into is Financial Aid. While my family is not especially poor, we will definitely require some help to pay for college. This is why my mom wants me to go to Clemson, despite my high hopes for UC and Duke. Since top private colleges don’t offer merit based aid, most of that huge tuition will have to be paid by the school itself or by us. Unfortunately for me, a lot of students that regularly get into these colleges can certainly pay the tab, so they may not be willing to dish out the bucks to a middle class student who simply can’t pay.

Not to mention, high school isn’t even over. I’m gonna have to pull off straight A’s again this year, so senioritis is not an option. I’ll have to do a lot more volunteering now since one of my activities in marching band fell through. Needless to say, this year is gonna be tough. Couple that with not having many friends, I’m really gonna have to work to stay positive and push through to earn my ticket to these big colleges that I aspire to reach.

Hopefully I’ll be writing here once a week at least, but times are tough and I can easily get bogged down in a huge AP Lit project. Thank you all for reading, though I’m not sure how popular this blog is since my dormancy this summer. No matter what, I wish all my fellow students, seniors especially, good luck in the coming year.