The End of the World This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I was practically a junior, halfway through high schooland ready to enjoy the privileges of being an upperclassman. No more losing choirsolos to upperclassmen who couldn't sing. No more Saturday mornings building andpainting scenery hoping the drama club seniors would like me. I was ready. Then,that summer, my parents decided to move to Washington state.

I was even alittle excited at first, but then I began to well up with nostalgia anduncertainty. Would my friends keep in touch? Would I be able to graduate withoutgiving up choir and drama to take new requirements? Would I find a new voiceteacher? Would I like Washington? These doubts filled my mind as we dragged ourluggage and frightened cat through the Albuquerque airport. I looked for the lasttime at the same pottery displays that had greeted me on my arrival in the"Land of Enchantment." I felt my world was ending.

The next fewweeks were spent sitting in my lonely townhouse with all the untouched boxes,hoping my old friends, who had already gone back to school, would email me. Myfamily was too busy worrying about selling our old house and transferringinsurance policies to care that I couldn't take choir because of newrequirements, or that I had no idea what Washington kids would be wearing. I wasnervous, but also couldn't wait to meet new people.

So, I reluctantlyentered my new school. People hardly seemed to notice that I hadn't sufferedthrough chemistry with them the year before or searched for my locker with themfreshman year. They didn't act like they knew me, but as if they assumed I hadbeen there all along, and they ignored me.

That was, until Homecoming.There were auditions for a singer to perform when they crowned the king andqueen, possibly one of the lamest and most time-honored rites of passage of highschool. As the "new girl" and a non-choir student, everyone told me itwas against all the politics and traditions of the high school for me to have achance. Even so, I chose a nice cheesy jazz ballad with a flashy high part at theend. I took a deep breath and reminded myself to expand my rib cage and not passout. Two weeks later, I found myself singing about love and Fred Astaire in frontof the entire student body of my new school.

People still ask me aboutthat performance. The glamorous, radiant singer in the school newspaper is notthe diligent student they know, the intellectual who discusses Transcendentalismor the American Revolution at any opportunity. The former is the artistic side ofme that my old school somehow failed to notice, much less appreciate, in the twoyears I was there.

Now I find myself in a new place, but surrounded byfriendly faces that seem to have known me much longer and encourage me tocultivate both facets of my personality. I walk through the halls of my newschool, and know that new beginnings are never the end of the world.




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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