Life holds many chapters

While you are a baby, your mind sucks in as much information as possible.

You begin to talk and to walk.

You make your first smiles, and your first cry.

Yet you are not yet ready for the journey you are to one day take, still vulnerable to the sweet and alluring, and needing your parent's protection from the harsh and unforgiving world out there.

While you are an infant (toddler) you are in a chapter of learning, grasping at the objects of interest, and throwing aside what lacks your attention. You are already deciding what you want and what you don't want along your journey.

This is still only the beginning though.

You may meet all sorts of other children, but very few shall stay with you through your life.

You are still not ready to make life promising bonds.

As you start to reach that age where school beings. You begin to recognize fear, and remember it. You are entering into an unknown world of more children and adults.

How do you react? Most of you will still recall your first day of school struggling to hold onto your mother and crying your eyes out.

Yet she still pushes you forward into the haze of excitement and loud voices.

You are introduced to these smiling women and men who are called 'teachers'…after a while they seem nice and there smiling faces calm you.

The other children in the class huddle together and you join them, soon making the first of your long lasting friends.

Around the middle of this new and interesting experience; you discover boys, and they discover you…you've gone past the 'kiss chasey' (where no one ever actually kisses), and the 'cooties', although some may believe they still exist. You however begin a slow and approaching curiosity for the opposite sex. Slyly holding hands or a 'peck-on-the-cheek-and-run'.

Although you would never admit it to your friends, you begin to find a certain someone whom you are attracted to. This tends to lead to your first 'heart break', as they still think kissing someone of the opposite sex is disgusting…you never know though.

You progress through year after year, and get to last year of primary school.

You are now 'top of the school', looking down at all the 'infants'.

Your knowledge of the world is considerably wider and more useful.

You understand there are nice and horrible people out there. You have come to hate some teachers and others you can't bare to leave.

You have taken strong bonds to a few of your class mates, and others you steer free from knowing they'll take your lunch money or whisper snide comments as you whisk past them.

All in all you tend to be able to believe that it wasn't that bad. Although the only remark you make to your friends is 'I can't wait to get to high school.'…

You may have started some fragile relationships, but most tend to come to an end, yet it still gives you some practice for the future.

Primary school is now over.

So you went from being 'top'…now down to 'bottom', you find the bullies in primary were at least the same size of you, now you have giant 'white shirts' walking around, complaining to you to get out of their way and pushing into the canteen line when they only needed to wait a minute or so anyway.

You are meeting new boys who are 'soooo cute' or 'absolutely gorgeous!' you notice some staring at you as if you're an angel, and others still throw insulting remarks ('so immature!' your friends will reassure you), some of these boys are the territory of other girls, and you learn to not touch, others however are free and you wander all over them, trying to impress.

Again you have more people to steer clear from, yet again you also find you are introduced to more people who you make friends with, you may also loose some of your old friends from primary. But you move on and settle down with a mixture of 'newies' and 'oldies'.

Some of the other kids come from different schools, and you find there social structure is slightly different; they may have different habits or hobbies. However in the end you mix and mingle well enough, and give there lifestyle a try.

You also encounter problems however. Now homework is more serious, and not doing it comes with larger and more sinister consequences which you'd prefer to avoid.

There are the same regular school bullies; however they have now developed more than just a taste of taking your lunch money or stupid comments behind your back. They like to hurt, they like to find the sore spot and poke it, they just love to watch you run away in tears and miss out class after class as you fear to face them.

They will turn your friends on you and backstab you all they want without thought.

They are the people whose faces you wake up to in your mind, and you hide under your blanket hoping that the day will pass without having to get up and face them again…

The years continue to pass in high school, and the bullies you used to fear so much are merely now annoying people who everyone hates and no one fears.

You now understand that they got there kicks out of scaring you, and although it hurt you then, now you are stronger and will simply tell them to 'swallow there gum and don't try to resist chocking' (the nice way of saying 'die you SOB').

These people are now left without friends and without hope. You kind of feel sorry for these individuals however…at least you have friends who'll always be with you, strong bonds of 'best friends', some 'forever' boyfriends.

Some people who you know you'll eventually loose contact with, and those you WANT to loose contact with, there are the few who you will continue talking to over letters, but the pen will eventually stop writing and it's just another small part of your life that fades into the background, although never out of your memory.

Yet you still enjoy these years of young loves, triumphs, and tears. Knowing that what is about to come will shake up the firm foundation you have.

Upper school…

Upper school comes with a blaze of white t-shirts and new responsibilities and decisions to be made.

You are now older and wiser and beginning to make a permanent mark on the world. People notice and respect you more and the troubles of your past seem futile and long gone.

However the school work is harder and mistakes not forgiven as easily. Friends seem to fight even more although you hoped the bitchiness of the past years would go.

You realise that maturity still hasn't hit all and most are still trying to hang onto the free will and the easy run-a-muck past they used to have.

People seem to pick unworthy fights, but most you try to shrug off with a high chin.

Boyfriends have become more complicated, you don't know what they want or how to give it to them. You know you should ask questions but how?

There also becomes the obvious point that the boys are more attracted to the girls…very obvious.

They swim over the girls like a tidal wave, engulfing any they think is worthy. Some of these relationships become school wide, and a topic of lunch time conversation, others are less known and sink into the background waiting for there time.

All they think about is sex, sex, and more sex. Mind you the girls are becoming just as bad; the lunch room is full of dirty talk and how to please the opposite sex. Girls giggle in corners about what they did to their boyfriend last week end, and boys whisper to their mates about how big his girl's boobs are.

Hormones are multiplying. The girls are looking for that 'special someone' and complain when their boy mucks up, whilst the guys are trying to understand the mind of a growing women. It all seems so impossible!

There's tears and laughter wherever you turn, eventually it may seem like your on a merry-go-round going faster and faster and faster until it suddenly stops leaving you confused and wondering in which direction your home is…

Pity these things aren't so merry…

You also discover the serious more. You concentrate on the 'gloom and doom' side of things.

The glass is half empty, the grass on the other side is dead, flowers die too quickly and love sucks.

It all seems more hopeless and confusing than sex. But it's reality, and in time you learn to deal with it.

High school comes to an end. This is the stage where you're all cheering, thinking about the up-coming graduation parties, getting drunk and making out with random's.

You have to say goodbye to the people you never really new, and to some who you thought you couldn't live without, but they are now leaving forever.

You still go on though.

Graduation night comes, everyone looks great. You're teaches are glowing and the students are causios to not fall over and display their underwear to the audience. You're parent's wave to you on stage making you turn bright red, though you are inside grateful for their support. The photographer takes the worst possible photo of you and then you stumble back down to your seat, waiting for it to all be over.

As you walk out the doors you hug goodbye friends, and tell the certain ones who you'll see soon enough 'catcha later'.

Others you spend more time with, reflecting on memories, you may be seeing them again, but you need to be with the close friends on this special night.

You sought as many hugs as possible and words of reassurance, some come and some don't.

You may miss out on saying goodbye to that 2-year crush, or you may succeed in kissing his cheek. It depends on you.

All in all, you look back and see the fond memories of the past, the horrible tragedies and the rivers of tears, the laughter where your stomach hurt and you gained a headache, and the small smiles which really meant something. You remember your first kiss and your first love, the way some people took away your sorrows, and the way some laid them upon you.

You remember the heart-felt words which boosted your confidence or even just the small word from the person who means the most to you.

The bullies and the best friends, the meaningful hugs which you still sometimes wish you were in, and the 'soul mate' you may have found.

Your first day of school led to this. You hold so much knowledge and power now. You know that you must survive, and you know how to do it.

You realise that you may be different, but you're accepted by your friends, and that's all that matters in the end.

In the end, the bullies won't be there, in the end, the hurt makes you stronger and the pain makes you learn, in the end the smiles make you smile more, in the end, it's what you want that counts, and it's the friends which help you get it, which will always be there for you.

In the end, it's what made you happy that will stay with you forever.

You experience many things which will make your decisions when you grow older,

You will make friends which shall stay by your side forever, or never.

These few years of your life are what make it worth living.

By Siobhan

Date: 5/01/2005