This I Believe

Tyler - Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Entered on March 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

Making The Right Decision

As a teenager, I find that I face more and more challenges of peer pressure and just growing up in general. My mom says “life is not and easy road to go down nowadays, but it is what you make of it”. It seems as a teenager I am judged by what kind of clothes I wear, who my friends are, what material possessions I have, and how I act or behave outside of school.

I’ve never had a problem being a popular kid. My parents always made sure I had the name brand clothes, cell phone, and the newest cd’s and games. I always went to small schools and I was pretty good at sports which enhanced my popularity. I condsider myself to be witty and out going, and well liked by all social groups. But it seems like what you do or maybe don’t do has an impact on how people view you.

I was hanging out with a particular group of kids that had started experimenting with marijuana. Another group was into the drinking but I chose to stay away from the drugs. Sometimes the two groups mixed on occasion. One night I went to this party where both groups were mingling. A lot of drinking was going on. Some of my friends were messed up. The house we were partying in belonged to some people who were out of town. To make a long story short, we got busted! The cops came and hauled us down

to the police station. My mom and step-dad came to pick me up. Fortunately, I was not one of the drunken kids.

After the rumors spread like a wildfire all over town, I was facing charges of burglary and property damage. At school, I was kicked off the baseball team; so what my hand was in a cast anyways. And then soon after that I was ousted by my friends and their families. There was whole investigation from the office of juvenile affairs. Truth was we did not break into the house the girl that lived there had given us access and there was no property damage done at all. Did that matter to the people of the small community in which I lived in? No they had already passed judgment. My friends who use to come over every weekend were now no longer allowed to come over and I was no longer allowed in their homes.

I figured this whole stigma of my ‘juvenile delinquency’ would pass, but it never did. My so-called friends that knew the truth didn’t bother defending me to their parents or anyone else for that matter. I know that actions speak louder than words. How you present yourself to others has a lasting impression whether it’s good or bad. I understand why my mother is continually telling me, “ The choices I make today could impact the way things turn out tomorrow”.