When I was young, I was naive and gullible and even though that still holds true, somewhat, I was 100x more naive back then and that’s saying something. I don’t like to think a lot about my childhood. I don’t like to think about it or talk about it and not because it was all so terrible because there was good too. No, I don’t like to think about it because it’s weird for me. I grew up in a small town and in school we had an established hierarchy from the time I walked in those double doors my first day of kindergarten. My last name didn’t hold much merit in the town and I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough at sports to be considered popular. I wasn’t exactly at the bottom of the class but I wasn’t at the top. In school I was good enough to be seen but not good enough to be noticed. It bothered me when I was little and I tried to “make friends” with the popular girls but after so many times of them ditching me, I gave up on that. I still cared but I stopped trying. I buried myself behind books. I lost myself in my writing. I found love in music and art class. I became the choir geek and the band geek. I was the nerd, the book worm. You know it’s different back in school. You see, in the real world, we admire those with intelligence and we revere those who are creative. Not everyone but a lot of people. We create museums to showcase art. We pay hundreds of dollars to go to concerts and hear great musicians play but in school, being creative and smart doesn’t make you popular. So I set my shoulders back and amidst all the bullying, I stopped caring. I was who I was and I wouldn’t apologize for it. Everyone says they miss high school so much but I don’t. I couldn’t wait to get out and I’m glad to be gone. Even today, really the only time I think about High School is so I can look back and be grateful for how much has changed and how I love the life I have now. I’m sure you all have stories like mine. You were the rejects and the outcasts. You were bullied and pushed around in High School and Junior High. I hope your life is better than it was and I want to say I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you for making it through school. I’m proud of you for pushing through the bullying and looking towards the future. Even if your life isn’t everything you wish it was right now I want you to know I’m rooting for you. People underestimate you and the difference you can make but don’t let that change the impact you will make on this world. You are beautiful and strong. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.