It is all a choice.

It is now summer and all of the newly graduated class of 2011 have a whole summer to prepare for the college life. Two friends, together since the first grade have been waiting for this moment in their lives, and it is finally here, that great transition from high school student to a college bound scholar. However, to one it is not how she had hoped it would look. While Julie sits at the side of the pool forced to feel self conscious about her body. Emma is rocking her bikini, and is free to flirt with the guys. Although they are friends, Julie and Emma have two very different lifestyles. While Julie spent her time sitting on facebook, and not too involved in high school extracurricular activities, Emma was spending her time being involved with sports, and maintaining a healthy diet.






Emma had a very full and happy high school career however; Julie did not want to get involved, and was okay not doing anything when she got home from school. As a result Julie became overweight due to poor diet, and little physical activity. Emma had chosen when she started high school to make a name for herself before she left high school to move on to better things. She joined sports, clubs, and was an honor student. She made sure to not let her diet fall apart either. Emma had made sure to get all the food she needed to stay healthy from apples to whole grain bread. As well she made sure to keep herself away from the large population of her high school that participated in regular drinking. As time went on Julie had became more depressed due to her lack of social life and body figure. Emma had tried to get Julie to come try out for volleyball with her, but she refused no matter how much she asks her.





Julie now sits on the side of a pool in her t-shirt thinking about the changes she could have made in her everyday life through out high school to change what she is forced to deal with now. Julie remembers her freshman orientation for sport sign up. She was so excited to sign up for volleyball, and track. As she walked over to the sports booth for volleyball with Emma right behind her, this overwhelming rush of anxiety came over her. “Oh lord what if I embarrass myself at try outs?” “What if I don’t make the team? Everyone will laugh at me.” As these thoughts ran though Julie’s head she approached the volleyball booth. Emma asked her if this is something they want to together. “Sure it will be fun, you sign up first buddy.” As Emma finished writing her name down Julie had made up her mind not to do it anymore. As Emma started to walk away to look at other booths Julie followed without a second look at the volleyball sign up list. As she went over to the track table the same rush came on to her. When she reached the booth to sign up the coach stood there, a gigantic beast standing 6’ 4”, and 200 pounds of pure muscle. As Julie was trying to conquer her fears she quickly wrote her name down on the list. As she started to walk away the coach stopped and told her “You do know running is an extreme amount of work? You have to give me everything you have everyday six days a week out on that track.” “Oh yes I know sir.” Replied Julie as she walked away. “Six days? School is only five days a week. That means we have Saturdays too? I don’t know if track is my thing.” Julie thought to herself. When the time had come for track to start Julie did not show up.





As Julie progressed through her years her day would consist of waking up at 6:30 to get ready for school. At school she was constantly tired and would frequently complain about the amount of school work they got. She never stayed after school once all four years of high school. Not for sports, clubs, or even math help. When she would get off the bus, and walk in her door she would start to text Emma but then realize that she would be at practice, and would not respond for some time. To which then Julie would grab a snack usually a zebra cake, or some ice cream and plop herself down in front of her computer monitor. This was Julie all four years of high school. Occasionally she would hang out with Emma during the weekends when she wasn’t at a volleyball game or a national honor society meeting. During high school Julie was perfectly okay being the way she was. Her junior year of high school was when she really started to see the changes in her appearance. She had started gaining huge amounts of weight, and would break out in very bad acne. She did not care; she did not care because she did not care about her life in high school. As she sits there now next to that pool wondering “What if I chose an apple over a zebra cake or potato chips? What if I had the guts to show up six days a week ready to work as hard as the coach wanted me to?” What if is the question Julie would frequently ask herself. However, her friend Emma was a little different.






Emma is standing on the edge of the diving board in a bikini showing off what four years of sports and good health have gotten her. As she stands there she tends to notice the guys all around her drooling over her. She overheard one of the boys’ conversations as she was walking up to the diving board.” Wow, look at her man. I wish I could just go out with her once just to show her the kind of guy that I am.” Emma blush’s slightly as she walks past them. When she jumps into the water thinking about what got that boy to say what he did. She remembers volleyball tryouts her freshman year. A school gym with “State Champs” written on every banner hanging up in the gym: aloud whistle blows right in Emma’s ear. “Alright I want a ten minute mile out of all of you” yells the coach “Go!” All the striving volleyball players take off in a frenzy of screams, and wails. Emma is left in the back with another freshman girl desperately trying to make the team. “Ten minutes?” says Emma “This is volleyball not track.” To which the other girl replies “At least we have each other to talk to. I’m Anne what is your name?” “I’m Emma nice to meet you.” As Emma and Anne go on, and on about life, and what made them want to join volleyball, the tryouts blow by in no time at all. Another loud whistle blows “Okay you all did a very good job out there. I saw a lot of effort as well I saw a lot of bonding.” Emma and Anne stare at each other, and cannot help but giggle. “I will post the result outside my door on the first day of school. You are dismissed.”


Emma then springs out of the water, and walks around to the lap pool. As she is taking her laps she thinks about what made her the person she is today. All the new friends she made during her sports or the diet she chose to put herself on. She thinks about her daily routine during high school. Waking up at 6:00 to get ready for school, Emma would get her shower and grab some breakfast. A healthy one at that, nice hot oatmeal with banana slices, and a glass of orange juice. When she got to school she was always happy to see her friends. She made sure to pay attention in class so that she understood her homework. After school once a week Emma would go to a national honors society meeting. Directly after she would get dressed, and head out to practice. By the time she got home it would be 5:30.She would grab a snack usually an apple or banana and head to her room. Now it was time to start homework which depending on the class could take anywhere from half an hour to all nighters. On the nights when homework was reasonable she would be sure to be in bed by 10:30.







Emma finishes her 10th lap, and notices Julie over in the corner watching her. She gets put of the water, and walks over. “Julie what is the matter? You use to love swimming.” “I really do not feel comfortable being in a bathing suit around other people. I feel ugly, and fat.” “I can help you with that.” Responded Emma “I can get you back in a bikini body before school starts up.” “I hope it isn’t too much trouble on you.” Flusters Julie. “Not at all; I mean that is what friends are for right?” That summer Emma put Julie on a need food only diet. No snack food or junk only good things going in. As well she got her on a workout plan to help her drop weight at an even faster rate. That summer Julie lost over one fifty pounds of fat, and can go to school proud, and with a sense of accomplishment. Just goes to show you how everyday decisions about our lives can shape who we are, and why we are life that in the future.





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