The Right Way To Go This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When I stand at my locker I hear my friends talk about how much they had to drink the night before. I wonder why I was not invited. Then I remember that I don't drink anymore. They don't like to hang out with me anymore. I am a senior now and just two years ago I was talking about how much I drank on the weekends. I know what drinking has done to me and how it has affected my life.

I started drinking in March of my sophomore year. I drank a lot. I was going to keg parties every weekend and getting drunk out of my mind. The seniors I saw at these parties would take full advantage of me, taking my money, teasing me, and sometimes beating me up. In the summer all I did was hang out with these friends and the seniors. But I stopped drinking in late August to start training for football. I had been looking forward to junior year, which is supposed to be the best year, with pep rallies and Junior week. I was out of shape and slow because of my incessant drinking. I was benched for two games. When I started playing, I would only play half the time I had the year before. I felt like I let the team down since I had been a strong starter my sophomore year. I was very angry at my coach and the team. My friends started to turn on me because I did not play well. They made fun of me and treated me as if I were dumb. I stopped hanging out with them and became a loner. I did not know what to do. One night while I was standing alone I said, "Screw this," threw my beer on the ground, and stopped drinking because I realized that it was the alcohol that was hurting me.

That April I stopped drinking and started to improve my life. I got a job. Sometimes my "so-called" friends would ask me to go out with them, but I said "no" all summer. I worked about 50 hours a week. My condition started to improve and I lost a lot of weight. When football season came, my boss let me leave and told me to come back after the season. I was playing because I wanted to. My coach began to treat me better. He started me every game, both offense and defense. At the end of the season I won the "Most Improved Player" and I was named to the All-League second team. My coach told me that he was proud of the season I had had and so was I.

Now I am getting ready to graduate and it has been almost a year since I have been drunk. During all these months, I have had about four drinks. They all tasted lousy. Now I know what path to take in my life. I know what is at the end of the wrong path, and I have seen what drinking has done to my friends. John, the senior whom I used to hang out with, now works every day for very little money, and never went to college. Their dreams will never come true. Now I see my so-called friends, talking without me, about what they did and I don't care. I know what path to follow and they are heading down the wrong one. l


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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Oliviaw said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm
Wow, I'm glad that you got something out of your experiences.
 
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