Becca Barbaro - Grade 7, Ascension School
I plopped down on the bench during our girls’ volleyball team practice for a quick gulp of water. Spending my morning in the gym working on my volleyball skills was the beginning of a very special day. You see, today was my birthday, not just any birthday, my thirteenth birthday. Coach was shouting about skills we needed to perfect, but I didn’t care, I was thirteen. “There is no “I” in TEAM!” coach bellowed. I smiled, well duh, there is no “I” in “TEEN” either. How appropriate is that! Now that I was getting older, I need to be a little less self-centered. I need to start to think less about myself and more about others, to help out my parents and family. Yes, from now on, there will be no “I” in this teen. I got to thinking, there is a “T” in “TEEN” and that “T” should stand for TRY. Now that I’m a teen, I need to try to remember how loving my parents are to me. No matter how much I think they are sheltering or protecting me, I know they love me and really want what is best for me. I will try to remember they know a lot more than I do. I should also try to accept my classmates for who they are, and find the good in every person I meet. Wow! There are also a few “E’s” in “TEEN.” The first “E” should remind me of EDUCATION. As a teen, I will continue to work hard through high school so I can attend a reputable college. For it is education that will help make me successful in life. That other “E” can stand for EXPERIENCE! Teenage years are a time of new experiences. Driving a car, dating, new friends, new freedoms all lie ahead. With these new experiences, come new responsibilities. I must make sure my experiences stay within the limits my mom and dad have set for me over the last twelve years. Peer pressure may try and tempt me into bad experiences, but I will do what I think is the right thing. If my friends are making bad decisions, I will turn to my parents for advice. And finally, the “N” in “TEEN” will stand for a simple, yet powerful word I’ve heard many times from my parents. “NO!” During my teen years, I will be presented with new choices such as smoking or drugs and other harmful actions. “N” will stand for “NO!” That simple word is about to become very popular with me. I won’t have to explain myself, I will just say “no.” By saying no, I will be saying yes to the things that make my future bright.
“You understand?” coach questioned as I was snapped out of my daydream. “Now, get back up at the net and work as a teen, I mean team!” After all,” coach continued, “the way this teen performs as a whole determines its success!”