As this semester is coming to an end I am taking this time to reflect on my first year in college. Im trying to pick out all the preconceived notions I had before joining in on the college student life style. There are some similarities to what I had imagined, to what people had told me, as well as a lot of differences that came as a surprise. There is so much to look over as this past year has been a big one. I will be focusing my reflection in this blog post to the school work I accomplished this past year as a freshman. I could say I am proud of it now though it has taken a minute to feel that way. Looking back at what I have done I cant help but think to myself of all the times I could have done something different like managed my time better or asked more question, and the list goes on. But I have to remember that, of course there is always something more you could have done, especially seeing something you could have done better but a lot of the time you can not see that until you are past whatever situation you are in and can then view the whole picture. It is now all in the past and its learning for the future which I have done a lot of this year and am proud of the person and worker I am becoming and learning from everyday. There is a quote to all of this that my mom tells me all the time when I have a lot on my plate trying finding it hard to all manage. “Give your reasonable best effort.” My mom stole this quote from my second grade teacher, quoting him on it every chance she gets. I always know when she is about to give me advice and rite this quote she loves so much and it is easy to just dismiss it when I am thinking about so many other things at the moment. But in these moments of reflection I can honestly say that this quote was on my mind quite a bit this year repeating it anytime the work load seemed to add up quickly. It has brought me peace of mind and I am able to now be happy with the work I have completed because I have indeed, given my reasonable best effort.
After doing some research on the price difference for mens and womens products got me to thinking over the outcome I found. I compared the price difference between products marketed to men and women of the same brands, mostly for self-care or hygiene products. To find that women, on average pay more for the same product by the same brand. These results did not surprise me in fact I expected them because I have heard of the “pink tax” for a while now. A phrase that is said about the price of certain items, to show that women’s products often cost more than mens products. What I found was for items like shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant the price difference was around $.40 to $.50 for the same product except one said for men and the other said for women. I believe that the marketing for a lot of these products is playing into stereotypes. Stereotypes that say women go shopping more and will buy self-care and hygiene products that are more expensive because they are female. So the stores let this stereotype influence the prices they put on certain products. Retailers play into this as well by how they advertise products an. When you look at an ad or go into the store you can see they push the products geared towards women a lot more than the mens. When I go into target there are many isles with products advertised to women while there may be only one or two isles for products advertised to men. Giving women many more options on products, so they may feel as though they are getting the price for that item when in reality men are buying the same product at a cheaper price. For the products I am talking about with that have price differences are hygiene products. Because when I looked at other gendered items like t-shirts, multivitamins, and flip flops, I found the prices are the same within the same brands. So this could be due to the sexist idea that women take care of themselves and buy any product to do so, while men take a minimal approach to self care. By not take care of themselves as much and willing to buy the bare minimum to do so. After comparing the prices I found that the “pink tax” still exists and items are being marketed this way because of stereotypes on gender.
I recently watched a Ted Talk by Tyrone Pooles. His talk was on how he built his life back up after an unfortunate injury that left him unable to continue his job as a firefighter. His journey after his accident lead him to finding a problem within our society, which was how the rental housing system worked against everyone who was trying to get a fresh start, to get their lives back on track, and prove that they deserve a second chance in life. He found this needed to be fixed for the greater good, but he would have never known this problem existed without the experience he went through.
Tyrone was a person who lost just about everything due to an accident. He lost his house, car, job, and his money because of something that was out of his control. He soon became homeless after he got out of the hospital because he was not able to work. Because of this state in his life, Tyrone was lead to a problem where he created a solution that really worked. He had no idea that the rental housing market was an issue for a lot of people trying to get their lives back on track before he went through it himself. But once he figured out what was going on and pinpointed the problem, his new goal became fixing it. After a lot of hard work and life experience, he not only got his life back on track but also helped thousands of others in need. After watching Tyrone Pooles ted talk, It really made me think hard about the way a person can find a problem within society, an idea, or concept, and start reconstructing it into a working system.
This lead me to thinking about an issue that is causing more trouble than good and I would like to see it changed. A system within our society that affects a lot of people and a lot of the time it is not in a good way. I am talking about the way the foster care system is run in the U.S. In my opinion it is an extreme issue that is harmful to the development of a lot of young children. The system is creating harmful environments for children without parents, who have most likely already gone through hard times in their lives. These children are being neglected which has a negative effect on their mental development. There is no attachment to a caregiver in their lives due to the harsh environments they are forced to live in and the amount of times they are being shuffled through the system. In someway this needs to be stopped. The way the whole system is run is not suitable for anyone, especially young kids who are in crucial developmental states in their lives.