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“Sam, I just don’t know what to do,” I said to my boyfriend as tears drenched my face.

“Just calm down and think about what you want to do.” He hugged me and headed to class as the bell rang.

This was my 10th grade nightmare. That winter, I started to get joint problems, severe depression, and a respiratory infection. I forced myself to go to school and attempt to keep up, but my 90 words per minute reading average slowed me down in my classes. In the last few months of the year I broke down. I hated playing flute with my new braces, and therefore lost interest in a musical career. I started to lose the bond with my parents and my friends began changing, eventually deserting me. My boyfriend was the one who said I should hold onto my dreams.

That summer, therapy helped shrink my depression, but my passion for the flute was suffocated by low self-esteem. Finally, my junior year came and maturity set in. Two months into the new school year I started to slip, but I caught myself. I went to the gym once a week, took a speed reading class last summer, bought a full spectrum light (which aids depression and bulimia, both of which I had), and grew closer to my parents and boyfriend. Now I have a strong relationship with my parents, my boyfriend is my closest friend, and I read at 350wpm. I fight my joint problems, yearly respiratory infections, and depression by working out 6 hours per week and getting sufficient sleep. I am healthier and more determined than I have ever been. I had a rough schedule last year and didn’t work as hard on the flute, but I have learned to take classes I fully enjoy and commit to the thing I love: music.





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