Shaskia Wibowo

Mrs Feitosa

IB SL Lang & Lit

3 October 2016

“Miserable Youth” is a school blog created as a summer assignment for English class. The creator of this blog is an Indonesian student who lives internationally for her whole life. She talks about the struggles of fitting in to social norms in her own country during summer. The title of the blog was meant to show a little bit of the personality of the author.

The entries are based off of my experience visiting Central Jakarta every summer. However, I try to exaggerate my thoughts and emotions a little bit to show that these events does affect her greater than it does myself. I wrote the whole thing kind of as if it’s just her thoughts flowing on paper, but I did try to incorporate literary devices, such as metaphors, similes and personification, so it’s not completely boring and also make it look like an actual summer assignment. When writing this, I tried to show not tell, but made sure it doesn’t sound pretentious and too fluffed.

I made the entries not long because I was thinking that if this was a student blog, other students wouldn’t really read something long. I tried to make it as concise, yet impactful, as possible.

I changed the time and dates of the posts so it looks like I created them on the summer. The one called “Opinions” was changed to midnight so it could look like it was those “late night thoughts”.

I tried to incorporate some Bahasa in there without making it too confusing. Speeches are kept in English to make sure her classmates understand. Also, as a person who has been living around an English-speaking community, I speak in a mixture of English and Bahasa, but mostly in English.

Written Task Word Count: 825

Rationale Word Count: 290


You know what frustrates me? When people don’t listen to other people’s opinions. That’s restricting thought flow.

Is there something wrong with someone thinking different from the usual norm? I’m just bringing new ideas to the table and if you don’t wanna take it, then don’t. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not valid.

I feel like all my live I’ve been taught to think outside the box, but here, it’s like you have to be a certain box and you can only think of specific things outside the box.

Am I too “westernized” because I’m opened to different ideas? Because they will fight me back inside of that chained box. The only exposure to the “western culture” they get is from the television, and I feel like that’s a load of crap.

The western television is compromised by reused stereotypes just for business reasons. That’s all they know; the bully who bashes the nerd’s head onto the toilet; the mean, popular clique that are so exclusive that you have to be a certain way to get with them.

It’s not that way. It can be, but isn’t that with most places?

I’m just super grateful for being able to live in more than one country and experience different cultures and thoughts. I get to learn not only about other people but also myself.

“He Who Knows Others Is Wise. He Who Knows Himself Is Enlightened.”- Tao Te Ching


I’ve heard a lot about looking in the mirror and not liking what you see. I bet you have too. But when I look at the mirror I don’t even know who is staring back at me or if it’s even looking at me at all. I just don’t know who I am. And I guess you should be whoever the hell you wanna be. Or whatever your mind breeds. But is that who I really want to be?

I want to belong. I want to be part of something bigger than where I’m from, or where I’ve been. Why can’t we be define purely for what we emanate. Like how we dress, our thoughts, our passions. I know this sounds really cliche, but I’m just going through a very angsty moment right now.

I am not arrogant. Not because I can’t fully speak without English.

I am not stubborn. Not because I have my own belief and opinions.

I am not reckless. Not because I want to do my own thing and be independent.

Family Reunion

Small talk, fake smiles, and backstabbing comments. The essence of family reunions.

I’m not too close with any of the people outside of my grandparents and first cousins, so these kinds of events are very overwhelming. Especially when you aren’t around them a lot. A bunch of “apa kabar?” with insincere responses.

I really think they’re nice people. I really do. But some of them needs to filter their mouths, oh my god. You can’t even get food without hearing a nasty comment.

“You’re so skinny! Tashya, you should be like her.”

Now you see, Tashya is a normal, developing, young girl who needs sufficient food. So this comment left me shook. How insensitive?

There is nothing wrong with your body. Whether your frame is big or small, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy and healthy. What’s the point of being slim and petite when you’re sick and miserable?

People just don’t see mental illness as an actual thing here, I guess. People who are mentally ill are called gila or stres. They are not treated as if they had a physical illness. And it frustrates me because I know a lot of people who are suffering for something intangible and unseen. And I’m so exposed to help groups and being open about this issue. But I guess you just don’t talk about that here.



First day of summer blows. I am currently somewhere around 40,000 feet off the ocean, looking at a sunset I can’t enjoy because there is a thick arm glued onto the arm rest, while an incompetent parent let their child break my back.

Never though I’d write on this this soon, if ever, but the idea of coming back makes me super anxious. I mean, I go there every year, and I love the country, but I’m not hyped about the constant judgements, arguments and  inapplicable advices. I’m an outsider in my own country.

Next thing you know, my eyes will be glued to a book on “Norms”. I just hope I’m exaggerating. Because if you look down from where I am, you’ll be mesmerized by the collection of islands on display like children at the public swimming pool on a Friday morning. There were just too many. I guess they call it Thousand Islands for a reason. It’s just a gathering of pulau-pulau.

Now that I think of it, it’s interesting how pulau is the singular form of pulau-pulau, which means that to make a noun plural you just have to make it more than one, literally. That really makes sense to me. Why would you put an “s” on the end of something to indicate that it’s more than one when you can just make it two, you know? Never thought of that. That’s really clever.

A Mess



I am a mess

from my room to my mind

is filled with tangled yarns,


yet unable to organize.


I am a mess

as I cry over things so insignificant,

when all I wanted was to scream

the things with actual meaning.


I am a mess

that I think too much,

my thoughts come all at once,

but all you hear are lies.

Because which is the truth?


I am a mess

like my hair

hasn’t been washed for days.

Broken and split into thirds.

Maybe I should chop it off.


I am a mess

spending more time complaining than sleeping.

Because I can’t sleep;

my bed’s too small.


I am a mess

I never get things done.

I’m tired and I haven’t slept,

so let’s end this mess



Poetic devices used:

Repetition: “I am a mess”

Simile: I am a mess like my hair…”

Metaphor: “…my mind is filled with tangled yarns…”


I really don’t like poetry because it kind of makes me feel like trash. :’) But I really tried with this one, so I’m really sorry if it makes no sense. I personally think that this is a really abstract “poem” but I’m just worried that it won’t make sense.

Oooh by the way, those little dots that are in the middle of each stanza are there because it won’t let me leave a space between the stanzas, so I put it there.

Sorry! Hope you enjoy. (¿?¿??¿) B)


Album time yo!

This week, I am really excited to write about this album. Do you know why? Because this album has actually been on repeat for about… one and half month, I think.

Wow, I have been a fan of Arctic Monkeys for quite some time now, but after I heard this album, AM, I gained new respect for them. Like the Paramore album I wrote about a couple weeks back, you can feel that this band has grown in many different ways yet you can still hear the Arctic Monkeys vibe to it.

Their earlier albums were golden! All of them. Starting from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) to Suck It and See  (2011), they were all great. 10/10. But, when you listen to AM, man, I don’t even know how to describe it. The earlier albums were more to the alternative rock and that’s one of my favorite type of music genre, but I don’t blame you if you don’t like it. Different taste, right? But this album is more to the indie rock and I just want you to do yourselves a favor and listen to this album, regardless of your music taste. The beat is really calming and I think I could listen to this album no matter what situation I am in, well, for me probably because I’m always tired. It’s not a tiring album, but some songs are just for relaxing, you know. You may think differnt so I’ll let you decide that for yourself. And I promise you the songs aren’t scary. 😉

A really cool and unique thing about this album is the lyrics. OH man, the lyrics. Sigh. I wish I was as pretty as an Arctic Monkey’s song. They are all beautifully written and I don’t even think they’re songs anymore. I think of this album more like a well written and read poem with nice background music that fits really well together. I know that songs are just poems, but it sounds like those stereotypical poems that you know deserve an award if there were one. Language Arts teachers have been trying to teach their students how to show not tell, right? I think this album is a perfect example. The singer himself, Alex Turner, said that unlike the past albums, the lyrics now are more abstract. It’s less of him “pointing at things and talking about them” and more of what comes from within, does that make sense?

Ok, so to be completely honest with you, the first time I heard Alex’s voice, I thought he was a 50 year old man. It sounded like those classical rock singers, you know? But when I did a little research, he is 27 years old. And I personally like his voice. It kind of gives this whole album a indie vibe to it, but I won’t really mind if you don’t like his voice. I guess the voice is one of the main parts of a song, but I guess some people may not like it right? What I’m trying to say in this paragraph is that, no matter how highly I speak about this album, there are people who may not like it. This is just what I think about this album.

So I will link the songs here:*the bolded ones are my favorite

  1. Do I Wanna Know?
  2. R U Mine?
  3. One For The Road
  4. Arabella
  5. I Want It All
  6. No. 1 Party Anthem 
  7. Mad Sounds
  8. Fireside
  9. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High
  10. Snap Out of It
  11. Knee Socks
  12. I Wanna Be Yours

Enjoy  ✌

The Middle

Before I start, I just wanted to inform you that I do not know a whole lot about this song, or this band, or anything about it really. Man, I don’t even remember how I came across it. As a result, this post won’t have as much information as the other entries.

If you know me and have communicated with me in some sort of way, you will probably know that I have tons of childhood songs. Eventually, you’ll hear me say “I REMEMBER THIS! THIS WAS MY CHILDHOOD SONG!” or “I LISTENED TO THIS WHEN I WAS LITTLE!” a lot, which is totally true because I stopped exploring for new songs or bands lately, I just listen to the same stuff as I did in first grade and this song is one of them. I think my music taste was outstanding, 10/10 back then, as it is now. But having said that, it is hard to recall where or when you first heard the song.

I know that I started listening to actual music (music that’s not Barney or Dora) in first grade, which was when music was at its best. The genre that was popular then was rock and my brother, who was older than me, got me into it. However, I’m positive that he was not the one who introduced me to the song. It was probably the radio, because the radio was still tolerable for me.

Ok, so back the song. I know that I heard “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World somewhere when I was younger but I never really listen to it much until last year. It was on a slide show for Week Without Walls, I think. I wasn’t sure what the song was about when I was younger, because of my limited English and the fact that I wasn’t into lyrics until now. So when I heard the song again for the first time in a very long time, I paid closer attention to the lyrics. If you listen to the lyrics itself, I think that it is very sincere and meaningful song. It is literally about fitting in and that you don’t have to be the same as other people to be popular and accepted. It wasn’t that hard trying to figure it out. Although it sounds kind of sad, the rhythm of it makes it sound like a upbeat song to dance to. You can actually listen to it when you’re unwanted or cheery.

The reason I chose this song this week was because 1) it’s a really fantastic song and it has been stuck in my head for the last couple of hours and 2) I wanted people to hear this song and be okay with who they are. I want them to accept themselves and not change for anyone. Fitting in is a pretty big issue, especially in middle school and I really wanted to say that this is probably a song that can help you get through it. Well, a lot of my songs help me overcome a lot of things.

This week, I will not provide you with a music video simply because I am not a big fan of the video. But you can search it up in your own time if you want, but I strongly suggest you to listen to the song. For more details about the song itself, click here. It’s just the band answering questions about the song.



inform: give (someone) facts or information.

communicated: share or exchange information, news, or ideas.

recall: bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one’s mind, esp. so as to recount it to others; remember.

tolerable: able to be endured.

meaningful: having a serious, important, or useful quality or purpose.

sincere: free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings.

unwanted: not or no longer desired.

cheery: happy and optimistic.

overcome: succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty).

provide: make available for use; supply.

b y e B)

Freedom of Expression

Freedom has many different definitions depending on who you’re asking. It could also mean many different things to one person. That’s what I think. You can never really put an exact definition on the word “freedom”, because the meaning change when you’re put in a different situation. You have to think rationally.  But generally, I think it means letting people do anything they want as long as it doesn’t hurt other people or their rights to do the same. As a person, I know that this isn’t the exact reality of it, because nobody is perfect and someone, somehow, gets hurt in some way. I know that! I also know that, right now, as an international blogger, I can’t just rant on about anything that I want without consequences. I think something that I you can talk about in the internet is your opinion. Now, that doesn’t mean you can swear all over the place about someone and use the excuse of “stating my opinion” and get away with it. Like I said before, you have to think rationally. What people these days need to understand is that it is okay to say what you think about something, whether it’s something you like or not. But it is not okay to be rude about someone’s opinion and I know that there is a way to tell what you think nicely. This rule doesn’t just apply to the web, but also in our everyday life and that is what I learned to do. So I think that you can write about anything you want in the internet as long as it doesn’t offend anyone or is rude. I cannot stress this enough, you have to think about not just what you’re going to say but how you’re going to say it. So, you can easily gain freedom anywhere if you act reasonable and wisely.


I learned to accept people’s opinions and still have one your own from one of my inspirations, the lead vocalist of Fall Out Boy, Patrick Stump. He said, “Never apologize for having an opinion. Apologize when you’re rude about it.”

b y e 🙂