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Mya, Teen Member | October 19, 2016

As a 16 year old, you would probably suspect a teen like me to be addicted to the internet, and social media. While I do love my fair share of technology I would rather spend time and sit down with a pen and a notebook and write. I love the feeling of physically writing notes down on paper and seeing the end result of my chicken scratch writing. A couple of years ago I saved up for an 1896 Underwood typewriter, and I can say that sometimes I do trust it more than Pages for Apple products.

I literally think I have reincarnated from a person in the 1900's because I love everything vintage. I am also a big fan of thrift stores. I love the thrill of searching for little treasures that others have parted with. I adore records, 50's dresses, doilies, teacups, silverware, old cars, etc. I consider myself kind of a vintage dork!

I am also a big letter writer, I find that the art of letter writing is so underrated in current society with all the social media and technology that are literally glued to our hands 24/7. Who doesn't love getting a letter in the mail besides all those bills and junk mail? To me, it feels like Christmas Day when I see a letter in the mail. I wanted to revive the beautiful art form (yes I consider it art, the way the handwriting is different and specific to the author) so I set out to find a pen pal who shared the same ambition as me. I searched for pen pal sites, but with the "trusty" internet you can't always tell which sites are a legit source for pen pals. I was in a bit of a pickle and then my Aunt told me about a site on Tumblr that was a database for people seeking pen pals. I looked through the names and descriptions still cautious about who to contact because you never know who you meet on the internet. After searching, I found someone who lived in California. She had the same interests as me. So first we emailed, then we decided to write. Her letters were so personalized and unique! We have been writing to each other ever since December 2015 and there is never too little to write about in letters.

As well, last year, I recommended that the City of Cambridge organize a pen pal program for teens within the community. They took my idea into consideration and put it in the 2015 Winter activities guide. Sure enough I was stoked to sign up and I met a great pen pal. Although he had many different interests than me, we shared our opinions with each other and the letter writing kept going.

These many pen pal opportunities have given me a different perspective on life from how others live in the community and abroad, and also make me more creative when I get to sit down and write a heartfelt and thoughtful letter.

I encourage teens who love to write or who even want to connect with others, to definitely sign up for the teen pen pal program in the Cambridge Activities Guide for this fall (page 53 in the Fall 2016 Activities Guide) Step out of your comfort zone and meet someone new! I am definitely signing up for the next pen pal program, are you?