Friends For Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Imagine, if you will, seventh grade. Perhaps few of you can't remember anything too significant about that year, but I can. It was the year I developed my love for science. Ms. Bruley, my teacher, had been trying to explain the concept of cell membrane selectivity to my class for days, and none of us could seem to grasp the concept. So she turned the walls of our classroom into a cell membrane and shouted, "I'm a sugar molecule, and I want to come into the cell, but I'm too big. Won't anyone let me in?" As she spoke, she proceeded to bounce around the room until she reached the door and yelled, "Finally! A hole large enough!" and fell into the hallway. After the giggles and grunts had subsided, she asked if we finally understood. With an astounding "YES!" we moved onto the next topic. I know, I know - a corny story. What can I say? I'm a pushover for visual demonstrations.

This summer I had the incredible chance to go to Syracuse University and study science for three weeks in July. Reluctantly, I agreed. I mean come on, college is close enough, so why would I want to spend 21 days of my hard-earned summer vacation going to school? Soon enough I found out. The first couple of days were boring, and I started counting the days before I could go home. It was the third night that changed my attitude. All 32 people in the program and the counselors somehow ended up on the boys' floor watching TV and whatnot. Suddenly, Matt brought out his guitar and we all just had a big powwow until curfew. I can honestly say that it was the best night of my life. From then on, it was bonding every day for the rest of the three weeks. Even the counselors,who were in their late 20's or early 30's, were cool. They were " ... going to be your mentors as well as your friends for the next three weeks," as we were told the first day. After that night we all completely forgot about the mentor part. Sometimes they were just as silly and stupid as we were.

The academic aspect was also excellent. We had at least two different professors each week. The labs were fun (and educational too!). The best lab was when we tested DNA to find out if two blood samples matched (did someone say O.J.?) To top it all off, the group went on a fossil hunt the last week. We went to a near-by mountain to try and find fossilized rocks. Being the adventurers we were, we climbed up and, unfortunately, fell down. Besides the fact that I had to ride the half-hour bus ride home with blood gushing from my knee, calf and wrist, it was a truly rockin' day (get it, rockin?).

On the down side, though, was the fact that we would eventually have to go home. That last day was a killer. Besides the fact that everyone had to present the required oral presentation and the fact that your parents were in Syracuse (good-bye, freedom), the unbearable knowledge that the party was over put a huge damper on the entire day. Everywhere I looked someone was crying. The toughest part was actually hugging and saying good-bye. I just didn't want to let go. It was no easy feat watching my best friends walk out of my life. Who was going to help me dye my hair magenta? Who was going to dance to "These Boots are Made for Walkin" with me? What if I had a problem that only Jay, my favorite counselor, could help me with? I was going to have to face that world alone.

I guess the most valuable thing I learned at Syracuse was not to take people being there for granted. High school may seem like a long four years, but it's going to go by quickly. Value the friendships you once had and the ones you have now because before you know it, it'll all be over and everyone will go their separate ways forever. u

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 12:55 pm
i love this so much!
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