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February 8, 2014

Teenhood Today: Some things are better when you do it yourself

The Daily Star

---- — I’m a do-it-yourself kind of girl. 

I don’t see the reason to shell out lots of money for something I can easily do myself.

For instance, when I got my permit a couple of months ago, I realized I should probably have a purse to carry my wallet, keys, time machine and everything else I need around in. So I began looking at stores for the perfect bag. 

I’m also picky, so it wasn’t just a simple task of choosing a store and purchasing the first bag I saw. 

I looked for a while, but didn’t find anything that filled my every desire. So I pulled out my sewing machine and made my own. I used some fabric I brought home from Africa and some from the clearance section of Walmart, an old belt, and the stuff you iron on to make the fabric stiffer. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I was able to customize absolutely everything about it. The size and number of the pockets, the design of the bag, everything was tailored to my desires. You can’t get that in a store.

I also make my own jewelry. Now, I have a thing for jewelry, so I do buy a lot of mine, but within my extensive collection are a few original pieces. A few months ago I got a stamping set, the kind that can stamp into leather and metal and such. 

I have had a lot of fun taking that box, a hammer, and the beginnings of my jewelry out onto the driveway to bang out the words into the metal.  Plus, I’m sure it gives the neighbors a wonderful, echoing sound to make breakfast to. All that metal banging.

I’ll admit that the professionals make some things better, especially shoes. But in most things I don’t see why I can’t be the professional myself. 

Personally, I think we are way too dependent on others. True, we should look to those who have more experience for advice, but we shouldn’t depend completely on them.

Maybe you can chalk my way of thinking up to the fact that I’m cheap. I really don’t like spending boatloads of money on things I don’t need to spend more than a few cents on.

One example is my addiction to hot drinks. 

Chai is my absolute favorite kind of drink! I love it as a tea or latte, hot or iced, vanilla or chocolate. I love pretty much every flavor, especially mango. There’s just something about that tropical burst mixed with spicy goodness that makes me smile. But the mix and liquid flavor are so expensive! 

So I found a couple recipes, tweaked them to my preference, and made my own chai tea mix. It’s absolutely delicious.

As I said before, I’m a do-it-yourself kind of girl. While it saves me money and usually leaves me more satisfied with the product, it can be a bad thing. I, however, haven’t found enough bad reasons to give up my make-something-unique mindset. But that’s just me.

Miriam A. Thurber is a junior at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at