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United States


April 15, 2016

PROMPT: [Insert Age]

Society has wanted me to become the athlete. The social bird. The party animal. The one who balances school, work, and extracurriculars. The one who spends every Saturday night with their "great" group of friends staying up until 2 in the morning sharing stories. Society has made me believe that those characteristics are what should comprise the 16 year old individual. Society has painted a picture of a teenager who follows the formulaic path of studies, social life, and extracurriculars, nothing more, nothing less. I never knew going in, that the people I was friends with since the first grade would change. Nobody told me about the sense of isolation, the immensity of stress placed to be that normal teenager in the painting. I am not the athlete. I oftentimes spend Saturday nights reading a book or watching a movie with my sister. I am no longer the social bird. All the years prior to that big "sixteen", I was preparing to enter the peak of my existence. I was in three sports, I was always that person who was never alone in school. But the teenage years put me in a position of questioning. I began to question those around me, and the things I was truly doing. I dropped the sports, started going to the library at lunch instead of sitting with the people who used to be my friends, I started being "more moody". 16 has been an age of both discovery and loss. But this year, I have found myself, and for the first time, care about my opinion more than those of the blank faces around me. This is the first time I have placed myself before them. Nobody ever told me that would happen. 

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