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On My Own This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Mr. Hoy, my U.S. History teacher in eighth grade, told my class something I will never forget: “I never assign school projects because not everyone does their work.” It might sound like nothing, but to me, it has meant a lot. It was the first time a teacher ever said that to my class, and I appreciated it, especially since I end up doing all the work. Mr. Hoy taught me that it is better to do the work yourself, which I have tried to do ever since, because then I would get a grade I actually deserved.

This has made me a stronger student and a stronger person. When I go places with friends, I drive; I know I will not drink, but I cannot prevent my friends from doing so. I am better off driving myself home than being stranded or getting in a car with an intoxicated person.

I’ve seen people who drink at parties to be cool, but once they’re a senior, they think they can go to Cal Poly or Berkeley even though they have never picked up a textbook. I worked so hard to go to a good college and I could still not get in. I guess everyone’s brain functions differently. That’s why I do everything myself.

I trust myself. I trust myself to make my work presentable as well as to try my hardest at the task at hand. You never know in a work group what the other people are thinking, but you know what you are. I’d rather work by myself because I know I will get things done.

My friends, my parents, my school counselor, and my doctor constantly hear me talk about feeling like I am a 27-year-old in a 17-year-old body because I take care of myself, follow my dreams, and don’t let others interfere. I make rash decisions on my own. You have to live with yourself your whole life. You have to do what is best for you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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