Riley's Story "Authentic"

 The universal message I try to emphasize is that we have got to let go of the habits that continue to destroy us. It seems to me that the moral code of society is reshaping right before us, and the things that we once stood for as a generation are slowly slipping under our feet.

Riley DeLeon Authentic 1
Nearly two years ago I noticed that, in varying degrees and at varying times, people get stuck. We become more apprehensive, increasingly insecure, less bold, but most importantly, we become fearful of the unknown. I’m lucky to be born in to a generation that is recognizing this firsthand through the power of social media. For millennials, we were all hurt a few times between high school and reality, and that pain has been amplified by the noisy and social world we now live in.
 
As a senior in high school, I discovered an uncommon degree of success hidden behind a 17-year-old who felt destroyed by his first real relationship. But it was my story thus far, and my understanding of the adversity I had faced that inspired me to write and publish my first book; A collection of stories from people just like myself who had overcome their adversity.
Riley DeLeon Authentic 2
'Life's not always written in Times New Roman,' is now published in 5 different countries and the implications of each story within the writing continue to benefit young adults around the world. I am now a sophomore at Mizzou, and next semester I will have the privilege of traveling and speaking at several universities, helping today’s 18-20’somethings approach their day-to-day with less intimidation and more confidence.
 
When I have had the opportunity to speak about my experiences thus far, the universal message I try to emphasize is that we have got to let go of the habits that continue to destroy us. The things that my generation once stood for are slowly slipping from our grasp as we become more enamored with making ourselves look externally glamorous. And for what? 100+ Instagram likes and an envy-inspiring Snapchat story? As the interpreter of the stories illustrated in my book, I firmly believe that we all have the capability to break free from the things that prevent the human experience from being shared in person and not just online. 
 
When we refocus our efforts on creating an amazing life around us and not just online, then we enhance our experience. Your self-worth is in your self, not your selfie.