I am an honors kid. I take the hardest classes I can and do well. Because of this I am labeled a “good kid.” And it’s the truth. I’ve kissed one guy, I’ve never drunk, never smoked, never had a detention, and never been grounded. I’m a parent’s dream child.
My grades have always been important and school a top priority. My mom often teases me about what a perfectionist I am, asking to see “some variety on my report card” instead of just A’s. I’ve never needed to be pushed to do my homework or make good grades. The sacrifice of staying home on weekends to finish projects instead of going out has been made many times.
I am self-motivated and ambitious, as well as independent. My G.P.A. satisfies me and I am content with being ranked tenth in my class. Still, something is missing. I haven’t truly been happy.
While looking for a quote to begin an essay, I came across: “You’ve got one life to live. If you died today, would you be satisfied?” I sat and reread that for an hour, trying to take in what it meant. And then I realized, I wouldn’t be satisfied. In fact, I’d be downright furious if I died now. I haven’t experienced anything.
I’ve always played it safe ... always. And high school isn’t about playing it safe, it is about taking chances and enjoying your adolescence. Yes, school is important, but it’s life that should be a priority. I needed to start living, experiencing new things. I’m supposed to get in trouble once in a while, screw up a couple of times. I know a whopping 16 years of life on earth can only hold so much, but I was seriously lacking in the enjoying life part. I don’t want to look back on my life and regret what I’ve done. I want to look back and be able to say I had fun.
I can’t say my life has changed drastically since my revelation. Honestly, it hasn’t changed much at all. I’m still striving for those straight A’s and I’m definitely not the biggest risk-taker, but I have noticed I’m a little more easy-going and a little happier. I’ve come to realize that it’s a life lived that matters to me, a life that I can enjoy.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.