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- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
When you're little, you don't realize it. The purity and innocence of your first summers.
You don't know the scarcity of such happiness, when you sprint down the sidewalks of your small-town neighborhood as fast as stubby child's legs will carry you, or roll in the grass until your clothes are covered in emerald stains. You swim for the first time in a small pool, which at that time, had seemed as endless as the ocean. With other, toothless friends, you play in the yard with no worries of what is happening around you or what will ever happen- as long as you have the best time possible that second, by spinning around until the world blurs and you collapse in a heap with your playmate, that sometimes, you've only known for minutes.
A little later, all you do is play some more with your friends- grown up friends. Friends who ride precariously on two wheeler bikes on the road by your house with you, and race like there is no tomorrow on to the next event. Sometimes, they are even more than a friend.
Despite the scrapes on your knees from all your adventures, you push on, playing games in the forest or in the park, still not caring if homework awaits you at the kitchen table. Though you might have been pushed down in the dirt by a bully who ruined your favorite shirt, or have been forced to bid goodbye as a comrade moves away, you live on, forgetful and ignorant as always.
Then come the teen years. Fights between siblings, parents, friends-everyone. Nothing is as it used to be. You're an adult trapped inside the body of someone else. With packets of work due at the end of break, and sports events every day, you have no time to run outdoors, in the fresh air. You'd rather go to the mall, or text anybody via your new flashy cell phone. There is too much to do.
Drama drenches every aspect of your social life, with your friends constantly gossiping, and your boyfriends sliding by just wishing for a make-out session before breaking up. Every day you smear on lipstick and eyeshadow to smother who you really are, in order to be the person your "social status" expects you to be. You don't even eat, to seem like the models in the fashion magazines that all the school reads.
Frustration is the replacement of your teddy bear when you sleep at night, as you slip away into unconsciousness with a single tear. You want to escape somewhere- but nobody knows where.
When you are finally older, you look back at the summers you had... and wonder.
Why did you ever worry about covering up who you were?
Why didn't you have all the fun that you could?
With a small smile, you look over the pictures of your first summer, and though the images are hazy, you remember... bliss.