A glimpse into coles life By: Cole Lovejoy

This Is 14: Lifes Road Trip

14 is like a road trip. It’s long, filled with bumps, uphills and downhills, you meet lots of new people, try lots of new things, and make many memories.

14 is the first year of high school, this is the year were you can start off with a clean slate. In highschool people start to accept you for who you are, and you make choices based on what you want to do, not what your friends are doing. You get to join clubs and classes that really interest you and school becomes a great place to explore new topics and try new things. With the new school comes lots of new work and test and quizzes become daily. Homework turns into late study nights and binge eating. You need to be more responsible because teachers aren't constantly helping you through every step, it's more up to you to get your work done and to do this you need to plan ahead. Freshman year kids sign up for clubs, classes, sports, OSR, band, and other after school curriculum. As the year goes on freshman find themselves juggling many obligations and making hard decisions about what's most important.

14 is important because this is your intro to high school and it sets the standard for the next 3 years. This is the year full of mistakes, and that's okay because 14 is all about finding your way. It's better to make the mistakes now rather than in the future. This year it's also okay to take risks and leaps of faith. 14 is all about trying new things, whether that's trying a club, or going out for a sports team, or even making new friends. Before saying no to something, it's important to evaluate the pros and cons, and saying to yourself what's the worst that could happen.

14 is figuring out who you are. You can't copy other people anymore, this year is about finding your own style and being yourself. Every decision you make should be for your own good and what you want to do, not what other people want you to do. Find things that you're passionate about and pursue them.

With 14 comes more responsibility and trust, you can stay out late and go to parties but abuse this privilege and it may be taken away. Being 14 means that you are going to be put in some tough situations. And there aren't always going to be friends or family to help you, that means that it's up to you to do the right thing. Being 14 you also need to look down the road at your future and think about your actions and how they will have consequences. This is the start of adulthood and it's important to be mindful of your decisions.

14 is one year past 13, the year full of drama and stressing out over petty problems. 13 was still childhood and we where still irresponsible, but this year everyone is grown up and ready to take on high school.

14 is one year younger than 15, 15 is having everything figured out and knowing who you really are. 15 is being fully grown up and almost being able to drive, 15 is knowing where you fit in and being more knowledgeable about the world.

Being 14 means being the youngest one in the school. You look up to the upperclassmen and try not to make them mad. They have everything figured out already and have survived 4 years of high school, and are going on to college. They are people to look up too.

14 is not easy, but we need to enjoy every bit of it while it lasts!

This is 14.

This is me. Now.

Rules and expectations of an athlete and a friend

Being a player; you push your body to the limits and try your hardest the whole game; don't argue with the referee's calls even if he's clearly wrong; never be selfish with the ball if your teammate is open; never let your anger get the best of you; make sure to follow all rules even if the other team doesn't; don't intentionally hurt someone as retaliation; use clean language even though others don't; respect the parents watching; listen to your coach because most of the time they know what's best; keep your head up if you make a mistake; be courteous to all players because you all share a passion for the same sport.

Being a teammate; showing up on time because excuses never cut it; going to all games and practices; listening to your teammates no matter how crazy they sound; having a good attitude even after a loss; always support them on and off the field; never yell at them for messing up because you're not perfect either; be prepared to put your best foot forward; don't talk about them behind there backs; stand up for them and they will stand up for you; acknowledge that your all on the same team and work together to accomplish a goal.

Being a friend; be there when your friends need you the most; help them with their homework even if it costs you a good night sleep; listen to all of their drama and never judge; spend your free period with them; FaceTime them even if you only have 10% battery; help them study even though you need it more; see them at lunch even if you are super busy; share your secrets no matter how ridiculous because they will accept you for who you are; don't shut them out because you know you can't live without them; be open; make white lies for there good; support their grades even if you want to laugh; like what they like even if that's professional pillow fighting; protect them from their siblings and parents; play sports with them and help them practice; go to movies with them even if they're so scary you might cry; laugh even at the worst jokes; and most off all respect them for who they are and have there back because they have yours.

Nothing Good Will Stay

Sometimes you don't really know much you need someone or something until it's gone. This year my older brother left for college, and let me tell you it was way different then I thought. I was so used to him being around I didn't realize how much I relied on him. My whole life he has been with him and usually when he's gone I always have a reassuring feeling knowing that he will be back soon and once again we will be reunited. But with him at college I don't get that feeling anymore because I don't know when i'm going to see him again.

For the first few weeks I didn't realize what had happened, I didn't understand the fact that we no longer lived in the same house. I was in shock. His room felt abandoned and ghostly, even though it was the same as it's been the last 9 years. Only one thing was missing, him. But life went on and every week I would find another weird thing about him being gone. At first it was the big things like me not having a ride to school, or someone to help with homework, or not having him at dinner. But later it became the little things that really bothered me, like how our dinner reservations are now for 4 instead of the previous 5. It was a real eye opener that we weren't complete without him.

Whenever I would fight with Jackson my parents would always yell at us saying “He's leaving for college soon do you guys really want to have a bad relationship and have him leave on a bad note.” Of course I never took much note of these comments and always looked at him going to college as so far away. But as the day neared I wished that I could get back some of the time we spent fighting.

Siblings will bully you, tease you, hurt you, threaten you, call you names, make you do stuff for them, get you in trouble, mock you, and worst of all one day they will leave you. Siblings will make your life hard, but no matter what they do you love them for who they are and you cherish the time you have with them. Because no matter what they do you are family and you gotta love family.

Siblings share a special bond because they are the ones who will support you through the hardest parts of your life. They will outlast your friends and parents and will be the ones you can always come to for help. Although we may not always appreciate them they are the glue that holds our lives together. I can recall so many happy memories with my siblings and only a few bad ones, because the happy ones are what make up our childhood and who we will always remember them by.

Friends are great, they are people you tell you secrets, who you see at lunch, who you hang out with after school, etc. But they are no siblings. Siblings protect you and will always see you for who you really are. So keep your friends close but always know that there is no replacement for brothers and sisters.

Home, a place filled with many fun memories. Birthdays, holidays, gatherings, graduations, and many other celebrations. These events are some of my happiest memories, filled with laughter, smiles, joy, humor, and cheer. When I look back on some of these memories I think about what makes them so happy and it's not the gifts, food, games, etc. it's the people that are with me. They are the ones that make the memories memorable and the events worthwhile. Objects are not what makes life enjoyable, it's the people that you surround yourself with that make life truly wonderful.

So make sure you hold on to the people you care about and spend all the time you can with hem because they are not always going to be there. Nothing good will stay.

Encyclopedia of Me

Brothers

Loud, irritating, exhausting, bossy, cruel, disorganized, ungrateful, stubborn, rude, sneaky, quarrelsome, greedy, grumpy, picky, moody, manipulative, lazy, forgetful, impolite, immature, and entitled are all characteristics of brothers. But for some reason you love them anyway and wouldn't change a thing about them. Because you need them and they need you.

Home

Home is not a specific place, home does not have an address, or is on a map, or where all your belongings are. Home is where your friends and family are, were your not afraid to be yourself.

IPads

A so called genius idea that the school thought of. iPads are great, usually. But of course the school found a way to make them suck. They delete that App Store and block all games on the web. So now it's just a learning tool that rarely gets used and doesn't work half the time.

Refrigerator

Reliable source of a good after school snack.

School

Misery, late nights, and encumbrance of stress are all side effects of school. School will wear you down until you break down. it pushes you to the edge and can make you want to rip out all of your hair. But you keep your cool and crawl year to year barely holding on. Schools not all bad though; of course you have your free periods, open campus, occasional movies, assembly's, caprice, and best of all substitute teachers.

Water bottle

The thing that you take your time every morning to fill up only to realize at the end of the day that you didn't take a sip out of it. It's a repeating cycle. Except for the occasion when you're actually thirsty but your bottle is either empty or you left it at home. It's only a handful of times that it's there when you need it, I think my friends use it more than I do. Most of the time it's just another thing that someone can take out of my bag as a joke.

The Lists of My Life

Ways to cope with stress from school:

• Open up to a friend

• Play sports or be outside

• Get caught up in a new Netflix show

• Make your favorite meal

• Messing with siblings

• Take a nap

Things I do when I'm procrastinating

• On snapchat even if I don't have any new snaps

• Eating everything in the kitchen

• Texting

• Sleeping

• Hanging out with friends

• Face timing aka wasting time

• Listening to music even if I don't like the song

• Going out of my way to avoid a task

Best things to do on weekends

• Skiing

• Sleep in

• Go to the movies

• Hang out with ffiends

• Go to lacrosse tournaments

• Go to LYC

• Go swimming

• Travel

What to do when your bored in class

• Listen to music

• Play games on iPad

• Do HW for other classes

• Tap your pencil

• Draw on the desk

• Throw things at people across the room

• Ask to go to the bathroom (or fill up your water)

Authors Note

At first I didn't know what to think of this project, I thought it would be a good challenge for me as a writer and push me to work hard.

Some pieces I found easy to write because I was speaking from the heart but other pieces I had a hard time putting into words. I thought that the narrative was easy to write because I was speaking about something personal and I had a lot to say about that topic. But I had trouble with pieces like

“This is 14” because it was hard to describe what life as a 9th grader was life, and it was hard to express in words.

This project helped me learn more about myself as a writer and pushed me to my limits. But it also made me a better writer overall and taught me some very valuable things. Like how to structure my pieces.

Going into the project I didn't have a specific theme for pieces but as I went on each one kind of developed its own theme. A lot of my pieces talked a lot about friends and family and others talked about school and being 14 and all the things that come with it. My pieces talked a lot about values and what it's like to be me.

This project was overall very helpful and taught me lots of new writing styles that I will use for years to come.

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