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First of two parts.
By CECILIA A. TUCKER
Published January 12, 2004
All I want to do is have some fun while I am in high school. I thought that was what high school was all about. Was I wrong!
I have finished the first half of my freshman year, and I am still struggling. I remember being in middle school, where I was told I'd have to be a nobody before I even had a chance to become a somebody. I don't like to wait my turn. I just want things to be fun right now, and I want to meet other people that want to hang out and have fun, too. So, is there anything wrong with this idea?
I am discovering fun is different for different people. I wonder what kind of fun I want. I see people forming little cliques because they are athletic, and I can do some athletic things, but I will never be the "star" athlete - so that group is not for me. I see others being really smart, and I am not sure they ever find a real "fit." They just get labeled, and unless they have another "gift," they probably won't have a lot of fun in school - at least not the kind of fun I think I am trying to find.
Then there are the people who dress in what I consider odd-looking clothes and do unusual things with their hair. Maybe I could fit there and have some fun, but is that really me? There are a lot of clubs in school, and so far I haven't committed to any of them because I want to make sure I can make friends there regardless of what the club is about.
There are the people who are into parties and experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and I am not into that and hope not to go there to find my place. I am sure I have left out lots of people who have found their niche, but I have done that because I am still trying to find my place and am beginning to think there may not be a group for me.
One thing I know for sure: I don't want to be alone for the next four years, so I have to find my place for fun.
What can I do to choose with whom and where I will have fun instead of waiting for someone to choose me? The "waiting to be chosen" method is killing me, and yet I wonder how many ninth-graders are out there like me waiting to be selected so we can feel wanted?
I need to decide if I am going to be a follower and play the waiting game or if I am willing to look around and choose some friends and have some fun.
Whom would I choose to be friends with if it were my choice and not the other person's choice? I think I need to make some decisions for myself about what I consider to be fun and whom I would like to hang out with before I start my search. Maybe that's why no one has chosen me, because I have looked so desperate for a connection; no one thought I'd be fun.
I want to be able to go anywhere and do things with someone without always feeling I need to impress the person. I guess I am saying I want to be able to be myself when I am with friends.
So now the search will begin because I am so ready to have people I can do things with and have some fun.
- IT! Private thoughts of the Indomitable Teen is written by Cecilia Tucker under the editorial guidance of a panel of teenagers (in exchange for pizza and volunteer hours). Tucker is a licensed marriage and family therapist at the Counseling Center for New Direction in Seminole. Comments are welcome. You may write c/o: IT!, Xpress, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail Floridian@sptimes.com If you are interested in being on the teen editorial panel, please contact Cecilia Tucker at email@example.com