“16 and Definitely Not Pregnant” by Gabriela R. is a very powerful piece that, for me, struck close to home. There are so many stories out there about teenagers who go from failing mean girl to sweet straight-A student. And while those stories are lovely and eye-opening, “16 and Definitely Not Pregnant” tells a different tale. In her piece, Gabriela speaks of the competitive environment in which she was raised, and how she looked down on those who drank and partied and had “fun,” a rare luxury for her. But a tournament party and a typical teenage game later, she saw the world and those around her in a completely different way.
Gabriela describes Brenden, a boy who she judged immediately. He told the most ridiculous stories, had done all the things she’d never dreamed of doing. And yet he played four instruments and had an SAT score that Gabriela was jealous of. Watching him, she realized the importance of finding a balance and not judging those you don’t know, things that we all struggle with.
“16 and Definitely Not Pregnant” made me remember all the times I’ve labeled someone before really knowing anything about them. It’s wonderfully emotional, and Gabriela’s word choice really makes it come to life. I loved the fact that this story isn’t a jock judging a nerd, but rather the other way around. The ending, though, is by far my favorite part. Gabriela concludes, “Me, I’m still working on that balance between my drunken Vineyard Vines crush and the overly apprehensive 16-year-old girl watching him from a distance.”
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.