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A human that does stuff with words among other humans who do other stuff with words


Message to Readers

Republishing with revisions for final review. Thanks for your help!


July 5, 2019


Like any aspect of growth and development, the teenage years are a part of life. Thus far, I have enjoyed mine to the best of my ability, filling them with long-lasting friendships and memories because I need something positive to look back on when these next few years get hard. Lately, however, the hardest part of my teenage years has been my ever-changing journey of self-discovery.
My self-discovery began in my first year of middle school. During this time, I was preparing myself for the move my family was making at the end of the year and trying to make a few more memories with my friends of six years.
At one point, we ended up discussing music during our free period and a friend suggested that I listen to a band called “Panic! At the Disco.” I was certainly skeptical at first, wondering what was so great about a new band with such an obscure name, but at my friend’s request, I found the band’s most recent album and stayed up all night listening to it several times.
This album, “Death of A Bachelor,” had a loud but peaceful sound, and listened to it enough times to understand and truly hear the lyrics of the songs. I found myself finding some of the band’s older albums and realizing how much I related to and identified with their music; this moment, I would say, began my journey. From Panic! At the Disco, I moved on to other bands like My Chemical Romance and Set It Off, whose songs I also identified with deeply.
Not long after discovering these bands, my family moved counties so my younger siblings and I could go to better schools. I brought my music with me through several YouTube playlists I had compiled in the months before, and by listening to them, I made my adjustments to get used to my new home. My music helped me connect with people and make friends in our area and led me to another point of self-discovery: my sexuality.
I was 12 when I told my mom I was gay, and I was privileged enough for both her and my dad to be loving and accepting of me in all ways. My new friends were equally accepting and some of them were willing to help me through the challenges that come with this new part of myself.  I personally don’t think I would be where I am today without them. While my journey of self-discovery is hard, I have surrounded myself with supportive, caring friends that help me through it to this day. The people who I am lucky enough to meet and trust are truly blessings in my eyes.
    The friendships that I have formed over the years have easily been the best part of being a teenager, and if I had to give any advice to a younger sibling or friend, I would say to surround yourself with kind people. While enduring my journey, I found the hard parts just a bit easier when I had a shoulder to cry on or a friend to laugh with. By surrounding myself with kind people, I am certain I will remain happy and healthy throughout my teenage years and beyond.


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  • July 5, 2019 - 7:16pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Harlow

    :) thanks. I worked my butt off for it and it feels good to get some positive feedback

    over 1 year ago
  • Allymo

    I also love Panic! At the Disco and agree that music is something that people can find comfort in, relate to, and connect with others through it. I also love how you drive home the point that surrounding yourself with kind people can really impact your life for the better and help you through your struggles. I think it creates a good tie with your point about music in the beginning as music connects you to others and makes you feel less alone. Really awesome essay!

    over 1 year ago