The View From the Bottom

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"Whack"! I looked up from my slightly stale peanut butter and jelly sandwich to see blood trickling down Spencer's face into a pool that was slowly inching towards my shoes. Standing next to him was the captain of the boy's water polo team with a grin on his face. It was at that moment that I realized I no longer wanted to be a part of the popular crowd at my new high school. It was at that moment that I finally saw the endless possibilities of friendship lying within the people around me I had once overlooked. Months of self-pity and misery vanished and I became a better version of myself.

Just six months before, I arrived at my new school. I knew going in that moving during my junior year would be difficult, but I had no idea it would be an experience that would change who I am forever. That year, it seemed the rollercoaster that was my life was only going downhill. I went from being voted homecoming princess to being invisible. I wanted so badly to fit in but not just with anyone, I wanted to fit in with the popular kids. In my eyes, being popular was all that mattered. If I couldn’t be friends with those people, I didn't want to be friends with anyone and that was exactly my predicament as I sat alone in the cafeteria that day.

This past year was the hardest time of my life. It was a time that I learned the most about myself and who I want to be. Every aspect of the person I once took pride in being was changed in a matter of seconds. It happened fast and it took me quite a while to realize the impact it had on me, but it is the reason I wake up every day with a smile on my face. I no longer yearn to be the person that everyone looks at, but the person they look up to. Spencer, the scrawny skater boy who happened to say the wrong thing at the wrong time was injured and humiliated in front of our peers. Witnessing the injustice in that moment lit a flame of compassion in my soul that will be never dimmed. I will strive to be a leader on my new college campus, one who embraces diversity, encourages and empowers all students to be the best version of who they are, too.





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