Life is Bigger than the Screen by Julia Shohbozian
A junior in high school, Julia Shohbozian left her traditional high school campus at the end of her sophomore year, and opted for an independent study program which gives her freedom to take more classes at Sierra College and engage in community work. She serves on the Placer County Youth Commission and the Leadership Committee for the Coalition for Placer Youth.
This week I’d like to share a bit about the Placer County Youth Commission (PCYC). I have a profound love for this group and there are some great reasons why.
First, some background information about PCYC. It is a team of “high-schoolers” and young college students from various cities within Placer County. PCYC is led by Kara Sutter, a wonderful community leader who works to prevent substance abuse among youth across the county. Our goal, as a commission, is to come up with unique ideas to help raise awareness for youth and fight against underage drinking and address current youth issues in a healthy way.
Okay, now for the fun part. The most valuable thing about PCYC for me is the friends I have made. I will admit that it took me a while to come to a bare-bones conclusion about why my fellow commissioners are so special to me. Now, I am pleased to say that the reason is that I don’t see them very often. In other words, I don’t know everything about them, I don’t know who their other friends are, I don’t know what they do on the weekends, I don’t know what their grades are, I don’t know where they shop, I don’t know what they said to so-and-so last week. The list goes on, but I think you get the idea. Since we’re not at school with each other everyday, and we don’t follow each other on Instagram or Twitter, we are free to be exactly who we are. This also allows for friendship to develop over time, rather than all at once. My personal theory is that this keeps us always excited to see each other again. I value my friends on the commission more because they aren’t available to me everyday for seven hours and vice versa.
Another benefit of the commission is that we are committed to attending two to three hour meetings every two weeks. That might not sound like much, but it has a value all its own. When we sit down at the meetings we know that we’re not there to do homework or check our social media. It is not the place to do anything that you do normally. We are there to think about what we can do to better our community together. Honestly, it’s a social with the best intentions. The simplicity of it is wonderful. What I hope you take from what I’m saying is that time spent outside of your regular routine, even if it’s just for a bit, can bring you loads of happiness. And I would especially advice you to find something unique, completely separate from your high school or college. I believe that the value that the commission holds is applicable to any outside group you may join.