We all begin our lives with nursery rhymes and picture books. Our favorites are Click-Clack-Moo and Goodnight Moon. We grow and learn and then suddenly are dreaming of a Magic Tree House and The Boxcar Children. We discover the power of music, friends, and our favorite movies and televisions shows. We loved Disney, fell in love with the double life of Hannah Montana, laughed with the Duncan Family, and danced along with CeCe and Rocky from Shake it Up. We learned that friendships do not always last forever; we learn that people change. Life continues controlled by time. We changed. We see the world differently. Though still young and naive, we learn how to thrive in the awkwardness of middle school. We fail our first tests, develop our first crushes, we have our first fights with our parents, and we make the best friends of our lives. We turn back to books, movies, and music, and we live a dream that some people never wake up from. We live the life of a book. We learn what it is like to experience life through works of literature. We cried when Katnis gave herself up for her sister or when Tris gave herself up to the Erudite. We experienced happiness when Ginger Pie found her way home, and threw the book across the room and sobbed for days when Augustus Waters died. As the first year of high school hits, we are forced to read more “difficult” works of literature, and some of us hated it and some of us fell in love even more. We became scared of planes from “Lord of the Flies,” became hopeless romantics in “Romeo and Juliet,” we saw deeper into all aspects of life while we were drug out to sea with Santiago. We squirmed in our seats at the battle of Dresden, and learned about communism from a couple of egotistical pigs. Music grew on us. Some illegible songs written by a drunk are blared across the school parking lot. We use our Apple Music and Spotify to make playlists dependent on our moods. We loved One Direction in 6th grade, but have a deeper appreciation for them now more than ever. We dance in our mirrors to the “High School Musical” soundtrack. We sing as loud as we can in the shower. We experience our “jam” sessions with our friends in our bedrooms, with our parents becoming increasingly more annoyed from the living room. We study, do homework, give up, fail a test, cry, and as a result become an overzealous student, only to repeat the cycle the next week. We complain about some teachers, and are best friends with another. By December of freshman year, we have cried, screamed, sang, jumped, ran, and made more bad choices than our whole lives combined. Are we still dreaming? Are we like the characters in Divergent? Split into factions? The only difference is that our factions are chosen by us. We categorize ourselves into factions, which only works for the time being. Are we trapped in a maze like Thomas and Theresa? The only difference I see is that we are controlling the maze. We all develop into what we will be one day. We care about the short term: fitting in as the adults would say. In my opinion, it’s not about fitting in, it’s about surviving. If we make friends we know are going to leave you when your friendship becomes inconvenient, then be prepared to weep into your pillow that night. We make certain friends for multiple reasons. Your friends are your friends for your convenience, to pull homework answers from, or because you genuinely love a friend for who they are. Some of us focus on the now, while some live a dream. We fall asleep every night dwelling on who we are, and who we will become. We have our highs. We have our lows. We fight, we forgive. We love, we hate. We all are not as diverse as we might think. If the little boy from Germany and the little girl from France during WWII can share many similarities, then our high school drama is not nearly as problematic at it might appear. We watch our friends and older siblings graduate and move on. We wonder what it is like to have such a vast lifetime literally right in front of our noses. We perhaps do not give much thought into the future. We are having fun, supposedly in the best years of our lives. We live carefree; we fall in love, sing into a hairbrush, play on the beach, scream in a horror movie, and laugh with our friends until 4:00 a.m. Our lives revolve around sports and friendships; summer or midterms. We pull all-nighters when we forget about AR. We develop a love for our schools. We develop a greater appreciation for the mentors in our lives. We experience our first heartbreaks. We live through the people who have the power to rattle every nerve in our body; the ones who seem to want to make your life a living nightmare. But right now, the only thing keeping us from our future is time. So here’s to the last week of freshman year, and here’s to three more years. So live the dream; live the life of a novel. Dance in the rain, slow dance with that really cute guy, ask questions, fall in love, break hearts, think big. Our lives are breaking through the atmosphere, coming like a comet in the night sky, and often we miss it. Go travel; be brave, try new things. Be smart. Make decisions you know you won’t regret when you are 35. Make a list of books you want to read and stick to it. Sing as loud as you want with your friends. Tell your friends you love them before you hang up the phone. We realize much hasn’t changed in the last 10 years. Jurassic Park came back and Miley Cyrus came full circle. Pray to God every day. Ask him to help you; you will not regret it. Be who you are and love who you are. Here’s to another day, week, or year on this planet that is wondrous and mysterious and circling the sun in the midst of the vast universe.