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Wild Ride

Maddy Craft, Reporter

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Submitted by Maddy Craft
Maddy Craft with her friends she met in Alaska.

You will spend approximately 1,460 days as a high schooler. Those days can be good, but they can also be bad. No one ever wants to talk about the bad times in high school. Well, I do.

I struggled a lot with fitting in when I first started high school. I felt like I was a little guppy that was thrown into a giant shark tank. I had grown up with most of these people since kindergarten. It’s crazy to see how much people change and grow apart. As you grow up, you start to care less about morals and more about your reputation. When people start doing things to make others like them, rather than to be true to themselves, it leads to cliques: the “cool kids”, “uncool kids”, and everyone in between.

You could probably place me pretty low on that food chain. I was embarrassed because I didn’t look like the other girls, the boys didn’t like me, and I didn’t have very many friends. As high school went on, I grew more and more self-conscious because I didn’t fit in, and trust me, people made sure I knew that I didn’t fit in. People would mock me and play mind games with me. The kind of games that you see in the movies: a guy pretends to like a girl as a prank and she ends up really liking him, she then finds out it was a joke and she hates herself for falling for it.

These people made me feel so bad about myself. It was at that point that I just wanted to get the heck out of high school. I hated it there. That went on for three years. I made friends, and soon enough, we grew apart. This cycle continued to happen. For three years I let myself be pushed around, manipulated, and mocked. At this point, I was done with school.

The summer before senior year, I participated in a mission trip to Alaska. The time I spent up there was life-changing. I made friends that I will have for a lifetime. We talked all summer and I was dreading the fact that school was right around the corner. Then came senior year. The final year that I would have to spend in high school. I had already started a countdown to graduation. I was so ready to get out of high school and become my own person.

The people I met in Alaska had helped me realize something. I had realized that I was already my own person. All those years I blamed myself for not being “likable” or “cool”. So I had decided to come up with a “new school year’s resolution”. I made a promise to myself that I would not let anyone walk all over me this year. I promised that I was going to finish high school being who I wanted to be, not who everyone else wanted me to be. I am who I am and no one can change that about me.

I had found a new me. I had discovered a version of myself that I didn’t even know existed. This new found side of me was everything I was looking for. She is happy, enjoys life, and most importantly does not care what people have to say about her. They can talk all the talk they want, but the only thing that matters to her is that she and the people she cares most about are happy. She makes me feel free.

In the past, I have always felt so trapped in this world thinking that I had to please the people around me. I now know that none of that matters. Their opinions don’t matter to me. It has taken me a long time to realize that, but I am so glad that I finally do. This side of myself has brought a new sense of joy into my life and I couldn’t be happier about it.

For those of you who are starting high school, don’t be afraid. High school isn’t all bad, there are definitely good times if you choose to make them good. Make a new school year’s resolution and stick to it. Just by making a simple goal, I changed how I had felt for three years and I have promised myself to be the opposite of who I was told to be.

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