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Take a step back, breathe, and live in the moment

Hi, my name is Rachel, I’m 14, and a freshman at North Star Academy. Today, I’m writing about one of the big things in my life right now: growing up. Growing up seems to be one of the biggest and scariest things in our lives, yet one of the most exciting things (at least for me, it seems). When you’re little, you can’t wait to grow up, but once you realize how much work adulting is … well, you just want to be like Peter Pan and stay young forever, am I right?

Ever since I was little, I was always thinking about the future. Because of this, I feel like I missed a lot of my childhood, and I don’t have a lot of childhood memories. Now, I kind of wish I had stayed in the present, because, if you didn’t know, growing up happens way too fast. One song I know says that the days go slow, but the years will fly right by, and boy, is that true. When I was 6, I couldn’t wait to be 14 because I wanted to be a side-walker for therapeutic riding. Now, I am 14, and wow, those eight years flew by in a blink!

When you’re young, you think about the future. You think about how you’re going to go to college, have a bunch of awesome friends, get a really cool job, find your Prince Charming, have a houseful of children … whatever you wanted your life to be like. But, once you hit a certain point, reality hits you smack dab in the middle of the forehead. You’re learning about scholarships, mortgages, loans, schedules, taxes, all this crazy stuff that claims it’s written in English but you swear it’s in Russian. Once you reach this point … you realize you only have a handful of years before it’s going to be you stepping out into this big ol’ world, with knowledge that has yet to be tested, and that’s really scary.

But, you have to take a step back sometimes. Don’t worry too much, don’t lose sleep over life. Our generation is still young, we still have time. High school is the time for making mistakes, screwing up, and then getting back up and brushing off the dust. High school is the time for making friends, leaving friends, finding better friends, keeping the best friends. High school is the time for learning relationships, because, let’s be honest, when we’re 15 we know nothing about real love, but you learn every day.

High school is the time for enjoying your childhood, but also being responsible. If you were like me and lived your childhood with your head in the clouds and your eyes to the future, this is the time to step back and breathe. Experience now, because some of the best memories of your life will be made now and some of the biggest decisions of your life will be made now, too. That’s why it’s important to stay focused.

Make sure you study, but always hold onto your dreams. If you like to dream, dream; if you like to dance, dance. Nobody ever said you can’t enjoy your life once you’re in high school. Be the best you that you can be, and enjoy this time. You only have a little bit of time before adulthood, and high school paves the way.

Live big, and dream bigger. High school is one of the best times of your life. Live your best life. Enjoy it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rachel Jenkins is 14, and a freshman at North Star Academy. She has four siblings, three cats and three rabbits, and runs her own rabbitry business. She enjoys horseback riding, writing, reading, singing and hanging out with her friends.

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