Look around you. Does anyone seem happy or contented? Because they are not. Each person is trying to find their identity, their clique. Remember how painful that first dance was? All night long was spent in and out of the bathroom with a crying friend, usually over boy drama. You, the usual sensitive one, were the tag along; the one who they poured out all their woes too. They feel unworthy, unpretty, unloveable because they were rejected by one boy or friend. You can’t enjoy yourself over all the boy drama. Then, as you are leaving, you see kids using drugs outside the school. They too are trying to find their identity. This experience ruined your taste for organized school dances and you attend very few others, even into high school. In eighth grade, there is the formal, the gala, in which you don’t expect the chance to attend. About eight students and their parents, usually the popular ones, invite classmates. You are far from popular, so as invitations to gala go out, you fear rejection yet again. But one day you are surprised to find an invitation in the mail and later find out one of the mom’s of one of your first school friend’s ensured you were invited. Most of the eighth grade class and a few seventh graders are invited, but there are cases of rejection. You are a runner. Cross Country and Track are your sports of choice. You enjoy the challenge of running uphill and through the woods. You go for distance, not speed. Your girl scout troop will take a trip to Savannah, Georgia, host a blood drive for your silver award and ride in a limousine to Galveston during Tropical storm Allison before disbanding. In high school, all five of you will be too busy for scouts. You wish to go even higher, but are daunted by the task of doing it alone. Girl scouts has been good for you. You’ve gained confidence, friendships, and a social activity. You will attempt to keep up with these girls lives for years. High school is approaching. More challenges, more joys. You will highly succeed in your first year of algebra and beyond, thanks to supportive teachers and parents. You struggle with the fact that mom must relearn algebra in order to help you succeed, but you now know how necessary that was. Other classes are going well too. You’ve joined the high school swim team. Swimming is not a new sport to you, having begun the sport at age eight. Throughout your four years you will have both early morning and after school practices. Like in running, you go for distance, not speed. You are like the energizer bunny. You will semi-return to the sport in your mid-20’s. You go for quality, not quantity in your friendships. You have a few close friends, but even with these your lives move away from each other after high school. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just life. Friendships cycle all through life. You still avoid organized school dances, but go to prom. Your sister, a freshman at the time, comes along as a worker. You are happy she’s there, even though she makes you dance with an oddball for the last song. Not being a night owl, you choose to go home after the dance and miss the after party. Graduation day is fastly approaching, but before it does you will be thrilled with the news you have been dismissed from special education. You will not graduate with the label. Your struggles are not gone, but the stigma is. You will graduate in the top 10.1% of your class, only one or two students below the top 10%, which is embarrassing and frustrating to you, but it really makes no difference. You’ve been accepted to SHSU despite your extremely low SAT score on the second attempt. Your first scores were cancelled due to the fact you turned too many pages and were working on the wrong section of the test at the wrong time. It was at the end too. Oopsy daisy! So, you had both good and bad in your teenage years. Most of the bad turned out okay and you can now laugh at it. And everyone around was searching for their identity. We were all scared and clueless.