To Thine Own Self Be True

October 6, 2009
When you flip through the pages of a teen magazine or turn on your television, what do you see? The first thing that comes to mind is after school specials telling me to get, “made.” Gossip Girls and Degrassi trying to inject a glamorous, over the top, high school experience. I refused to believe anything I saw, simply brushing these images off as clichés.
RHS was huge when I first entered the front gates. Hundreds of people were packed around me. There was a never-ending stream of cliques. The walls stood high and proud, not unlike the stereotypical stoners that dotted the sidewalk. I had never truly seen a group of Stoners before, or Goths, Computer nerds, Foreigners, Drama geeks, and Fashion-istas. It was strange and intimidating but at the same time I loved it. I just longed to know what would happen to me next.

Second period was a mere note in the song of my day. I did not learn much about algebra but those fifty minutes flew by soon enough.
Third period was drama, something I could handle, or so I thought. As I stroll down the hall to what comes to be known as “the black box” I saw him. This was the boy whom would sneak into my dreams at night for a starring role. His phone number could not be forgotten, no matter how hard I tried. So of course my famous pessimism just had to come into play. “He probably thinks I’m hagred,” I thought. “Why would he choose me?” I pondered for a reason why but came up short. He could easily have any girl he wanted, but I could not fill the role of just any girl.

He, lets call him Sean for now, to keep his identity safe. Wore bracelets stacked on one wrist, hi-tops, skinny jeans, funny shirts, and a curiously expressive yet disinterested glance. I could read every thought that passed through his head. Simply being around him could make you happy, he was just like me.
Every time our troupe did a pantomime activity or wrote a script it felt like I was performing for him. Infact, the first play I had ever written was intended to make him notice me. Whenever we looked at each other an involuntary smile crossed my face. The next three months would play out like this. I knew he noticed me, occasional glances filled with longing and curiosity told me so. Despite this, being friends felt like a long shot until January came like a song. Beginning softly, setting the tone, a chorus, and a wonderful melody with an ending tinged in despair.

I woke to the brisk air of a snowy late winter scene. As I gaze out the dirty window of my bedroom a cheery sunrise dance across sheets of snow. Glistening in white simplicity even the most unassuming objects looked breath taking. My following thoughts of that day blur together into a single fond memory. The black box was dark except for a single spotlight that hung above the stage. The room fell silent as everyone sat scattered throughout and began writing. Just as I was about to write a second play I flicked a piece of notebook paper at Sean. His response to my eager hello was warm and we passed notes all period. After a while he finally passed me a note that read, “Do you have a boyfriend?”
I was so shocked I did not know what to think and a few seconds later the bell rang. As I walked out the door I handed him the ravaged waded up note. To this day I have never seen a boy smile so big to a simple “no” in all my life. The next day was a rehearsal that we used as yet another prime opportunity to talk.
That following Friday we exchanged phone numbers after school and when the digital clock struck midnight I texted him. A few moments later he replied and so it all began. After weeks of texting he finally told me how he felt. “I think your way cool and funny. I think you’re prettiest when you’re just being yourself. You don’t act like all the other stupid girls. I just wish you weren’t so prude.” My heart sank when I read this especially after telling him I wanted to stay abstinent during High school and that is where our similarities stopped. As handsome as he was and as much as we had in common I knew things just were not ok. I refused to be pressured into fulfilling anyone’s desires but mine for fear of being used. Besides, I had enough to worry about.So right then, I decided to put our friendship to and end and keep acting the only way I knew how. It was a painful decision and it took awhile to get over him but I feel better for it.
When I first walked through the gates I was a self-conscious, naïve little freshman and walked out as a smart, confident sophomore.

It is in this year I learned that peer pressure really does happen and how morals can help in making the right decision. Through all of that I truly understood a saying my dad had told me since I was ten. “To thine own self be true,” he would say it to my brother and I every night. When you are true to yourself even in tempting situations you not only demonstrate a sense of leadership but a sense of individuality that cannot be manufactured.

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