Live Your Life

Kelsi - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on February 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

In a matter of seven months, I emotionally experienced four boys at my school die from suicide and another killed in a car accident. These series of unfortunate events, though very tragic, have given me a new outlook on life. Since these experiences I have come to believe that life is a precious gift and even though our time on this Earth can be short, I want to live it to the fullest.

The first hardship came in April 2008. No one knew what to think. All the students and administration at school were in shock and did not know how to deal with it. He was the popular guy who was into athletics. He had numerous friends. He was a senior and many of us, especially younger students, looked up to him.

The second came four short months later. He was a year younger than I was. I remember riding the bus with him. He always seemed like a happy kid, smiling and making jokes.

When it happened again for a third time in September, no one really knew what to think. Again, he was a fun loving kid who seemed to always be having a good time. We were all taken back about what had happened and kept asking ourselves, “why?” I slowly started to see my sadness turn into anger, which I knew was a selfish thought but I did not understand why this kept happening.

Later on in the month, I received news that there was a fatal car accident in which two people were killed, one from my school. When he died, it really tore me up inside. He and I had hung out together.

I will probably never forget the phone call I received in November, informing me that a fourth student had committed suicide. I just did not want to believe. I went to elementary school with him. All I could think about was our innocence from those days. He had a lot to live for, they all did. I just wish they could have known that before it was too late.

Even though I was not close with all five of the boys, it definitely put things in perspective for me. I do not see life the same way as I did before. I realize that people are not going to be around forever. I once walked through the halls among all of these boys going to class, and then seven months later they were all gone.

Nowadays, I try not to take things for granted. I do whatever I can to make moments last, whether it is something as simple as taking a hundred pictures or just sitting back and taking in the moment of my friends laughing hysterically. Little things like this make my life feel complete.

It is sad that these five tragedies had to happen for me to realize what I want out of life. I now know, though, what I want to accomplish in life, what I want to become, and how I want to go about it. Life is very precious to me and I hope I can fulfill my belief to the best of my ability. Not only for myself, but for those five boys who did not get to fully live theirs.