Flickered lights and sunlight shining through blinds. I stumble towards the bathroom. Recalling the previous month, I remember that I ran away—terrified.
My mom was not what I once thought she was. After dad passed away in the accident, I began to push everyone away, as if it was their fault. A year after the incident, mom began dating a hostile meathead. One day, I ran out of patience and I had to leave. I began to live on packages of 89-cent ramen and my stash of substances to make money in my motel room. I would sometimes think to myself I could just disappear.Like a bomb, I could just destroy everything around me. 
I remember the day I walked towards the front of the miserable building known as school. I busted through the double doors, all eyes on me. I blankly stared at every face, old and new. Brushing past those who I once knew. Quickly, I paced to the bathroom and rushed towards the mirror. I put my hands on the cracked porcelain sink, transfering all my weight to my upper body while looking down. As I looked up in the foggy mirror, I saw a bearded man in the reflection. Rick.Frightened, I slowly backed away but I ended up hitting my back on the hard sink. 
“Well if it isn’t Trenton Dean. So?” he said in a venomous voice, sending chills through my spine. 
“C’mon man, I don’t have any more cash,” I pleaded.
 Rick stepped closer towards me, breathing in my face. 
“I’m not playing games, man.” 
He grabbed my neck and pushed me back into the wall. 
“I need my cut by tomorrow morning or else,” he threatened.
Panic runs through my body as I wonder how I am going to get the cash.
 I step up the stairs, walking towards my motel room. I take out my rusty room key, inserting it in the keyhole. I have to run away.Wouldn’t be the first time.
I throw my bag on the ground, sinking into my bed, the packs of junk and coke flashing at me. Rapidly, I get up and storm outside with the bags. Tapping to open my phone, I go into my messages and find Chad. Shuffling my fingers, I begin to type, “Do you still want the smack?” 
In a few seconds, a response pops up in the display, “Yes, how much now?” 
Raising my brow, I type out, “$20 per gram.” 
As pricey as can be: I’m in need. Sunset-colored leaves and plastic bags flowing, I walk, feeling free for the first time. 
Now, as I look back on the past five years, I regret my decision to leave my mom in despair and worry. I should have been there. I should have grabbed her hand and told her it was going to be okay. 
Lying here, I stare at the cracked ceiling still, feeling different than before. Trash surrounds the bed. I quit school to sell stashes of cocaine, heroin and weed as a supporting job since I figured that’s what I’m best at. I have some myself every now and then.But after chasing that high, I ended up here, in a dirty motel room. I look down at my arm, a needle pumping black tar heroin into my veins. 
Moving the toggle forward with my fingers, I increase the dosage. 

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Life & Style
Break Up with Breakouts: A Student’s Guide to Clear Skin All School Year
Have you gotten so stressed about school that your tears become your new face cleanser? School just started, but teachers are assigning mountains of homework. You are working after school and squeezing extracurriculars into every gap in your schedule. With all that, who would have time for skin care?
Believe it or not, it is possible. Skin care does not need to be a “Korean 10-Step” method. The answer to getting clear, glass skin, or at least maintaining and not harming it, requires only a few simple steps.

Face Mapping 
In an interview with Refinery29, skincare brand owner Chapman Lee described face mapping as “the ability to see the reflection of the body's organs on each part of the face by observing the face's complexion — such as luster, dullness and color.”
 For example, I break out primarily on my right cheek, and according to face mapping, this is caused by eating too much junk food. This methodology is detailed but easy to understand, so a quick look at Refinery29’s article about the study can lead to long term skin success.

According to Olay, “The impact of stress can cause premature wrinkles and...cortisol, the primary stress hormone, has been known to break down the collagen in your skin.” 
Sometimes stress is inevitable, so instead of forcing yourself to stay chill while drowning in assignments, try tackling premature aging in other ways. The sun is another natural cause of premature aging, and since you cannot delete it or become a hermit, you should definitely wear sunscreen. I recommend the Neutrogena Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen. This is an affordable drugstore sunscreen formulated to not cause breakouts. It is not thick or heavy, does not leave a white cast (even on dark skin), and comes in varying amounts of SPF.

Hydrate and Moisturize 
Hydrating and moisturizing serve two distinct purposes. According to True Skin Care Center, “Dehydrated skin lacks water and therefore needs to be hydrated. Dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized.” 
To achieve plump, glowing skin, you need both. For dehydrated skin, drink lots of water daily and consider the seven toner method: use a water based toner formulated primarily for moisturizing and apply it seven times during your skincare routine.
 This may seem time consuming for you. However, according to Edward Avila, a beauty YouTuber with over 850,000 subscribers, “If you are going to be applying toner seven times, you do not want to be waiting for it to absorb so you should just be using it a little at a time,” meaning this is not as wasteful of your time and money as it sounds. This allows optimal amounts of moisture to sink into your skin, boosting hydration overall.

Commitments may consume your life, but you should not let blemishes do the same. So, before the salt from your tears exfoliates your cheeks, remember that there are easy ways to keep your skin from suffering, regardless of how much you are. 

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The lights go down. After getting into the theater about 10 minutes before the show and hearing a mix of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade,” BTS’s “Mic Drop” and an EDM audio remix of of the word “LadyDoor” over and over again while trying to find my seat, the show is about to start.
Internet sensations Daniel Howell—previously known by his Youtube screen name Danisnotonfire, and Philip Lester—known as AmazingPhil, embarked on their second ever world tour, “Interactive Introverts” earlier this year. With millions of fans worldwide who dream of meeting them and seeing them live, this tour seemed like a dream come true. Despite being a dedicated fan for years, I had my reservations about how two vloggers could pull off a two hour live show. I am here to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of the “Interactive Introverts” tour.
Even though they are usually genuine in their videos, recently, Dan and Phil have been overplaying their personalities, seeming almost fake. So, knowing that they would be doing a scripted stage show worried me because I thought the "fakeness" would be more apparent. Despite reservations, I have to admit that I could not stop smiling.
The whole event passed in an exciting, funny and sometimes cringy haze. They did a few rounds of their board game, “Truth Bombs,” a game in which friends ask each other questions about themselves and get to hear what their peers think of them—and a few fun original challenges they made up from YouTube, like the “7 Second Challenge” where, as the name suggests, you have to do specific actions in seven seconds or less.
They also did a lot of skits based on their personalities and references from their videos and tweets, ranging Dan doing one-liners about his depression to call backs of long running jokes like Dan being a furry and Phil liking slime too much. They even performed an original song talking about their relationship with each other.
Most of the show, however, was them reacting to what their fans wanted them to do. There are parts where fans submitted prompts and they would improv based on that. In one skit, Phil was evil and Dan was pure (complete opposites of how they are in real life) and fans submitted hard good and bad things they had to defend (for example, one question Dan had was to explain how pollution was good).
Despite reservations, Dan and Phil benefited from a lot of this show being improv. Even the scripted bits were still entertaining and came off naturally. I honestly laughed way more than I thought I would because of this. All in all, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this show. If you have a chance to see their final shows of this tour but are unsure if you want to invest your time and money, I would definitely recommend you bite the bullet and go see them.
5 out of 5 stars

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In the past few decades in America’s history, we launched our first space station, witnessed the September 11 attacks and watched the election of the first black president. One thing held constant in those two decades, and it is the drug epidemic that took the lives of tens of thousands. However, there is one difference between the 1980s and 2018, and it is the repercussions for those using drugs: incarceration vs rehabilitation.
The Nixon administration locked up those who sold and used drugs and created an image for the public to “associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” explained former Nixon Aide John Ehrlichman.
This rigid economic policy defunded inner-city schools and pushed away many jobs. It pushed the black unemployment rate to 20 percent in 1980, ripping black families apart due to unstable job markets that were forcing many men in economically unstable communities to sell drugs.
According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, throughout the 1980s, black people were doing drugs at the same rate as white people, but black people were being arrested and sentenced disproportionately. By 1990, the US held 25 percent of the world’s jail population, with the largest percentage being black men who were charged with non-violent drug offenses. 
Now in 2018, addiction is being classified as a disease according to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This ideology has shifted to prescribing synthetic opioids to help victims come down easier from their addiction instead of just throwing them in jail. While this is beneficial for many facing the opioid epidemic, one cannot look past the fact that there is one major difference between 1980 and 2018—race. Treatments and perspectives of drug users has drastically changed, especially considering that those who use are now predominantly white teens. 
“It is very clear that this epidemic is overwhelmingly white,” explained Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a drug abuse expert and professor at Brandeis University, in an NPR interview. 
While times certainly have changed, racial stigmatization has not. Like any point in American history, privilege and power equate. There seems to be a racial advantage to being white. 
“They are able to flip the narrative and play innocent because it's the doctor’s fault for prescribing them opioids, and now it’s the doctor’s fault that they have to go out and get heroin,” Johnson continued. 
White teens have been able to switch the narrative, and they became victims of an ongoing drug war. Opioids used by white people started a quick and effective transition to better and healthier drug prevention and rehabilitation. This distinct difference has caused a lot of confusion and hostility towards the U.S. government for how they reacted to these epidemics because truly, the opioid epidemic finally became a crisis when white people became involved. 

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Aries: While Mars may have just left retrograde, you are still feeling its effects. You will start falling back into habits of self care. Be careful of your finances for they may shift unexpectedly.

Taurus: You may start to feel the least connection to your sign. Your emotions may lead you to being more concerned for others and yourself. Trust your instincts for others may lead you down the wrong path.

Gemini: Emotions will reach all time highs as you start to feel the effects of Saturn in retrograde. Do not play into your emotional weaknesses and if needed, seperate yourself from situations. Rely on your intelligence to help you combat insecurities. 

Cancer: September will be a rough time for you. Having those you trust around is going to be key to your survival of this month. You will find yourself in the middle of plentiful offers, some will be good. 

Leo: As summer comes to an end, your professional affairs will start to dwindle. Use this time to invest in family matters and your emotions. Your open mindedness will allow you to grow and adapt to issues to that present themselves.

Virgos: As you enter your astrological season this month is all about you. Listen to your heart. Allow them to guide you but be weary of professional and personal relationships for they may take a dip this month.

Libra: As Libra season approaches your mood and emotions will take a full swing. Love is in the air for Libras in this month. Take a chance. Be wary because with love comes heartache. Listen to your heart but trust your brain even more. 

Scorpio: In September your ability to be oneself will blossom so explore your inner thoughts. If there is something you thought about doing but were unable to, now is the chance. Add a new work out to your routine. Be spontaneous.

Sagittarius: Slow and steady wins the race all throughout September. While you are known to be spontaneous in nature, it is time to settle down and think things through. Karma is coming so be ready for your bad to catch up to your good.

Capricorn: September is your month for love! Recently you have found yourself distracted by your thoughts and emotions towards other issues. Allow work to take a back burner and work on yourself. Spice up your life and do the unexpected!

Aquarius: September is a month of self care for you. It is time to take a moment and take care of yourself. Freedom will find its way to you as Uranus stays in retrograde. Expect the unexpected and do the unexpected. 

Pisces: Let's talk about how out of all the signs September will be the best for you. Neptune’s retrograde will help your find yourself.You may not think you are lost but regardless you will be found. Use this new you to find a date, go see a play. Be fun and be free!

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