Alayna - Bonney Lake, Washington
Entered on September 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Juicy Couture and Abercrombie are only two of the brands that can immediately label a person. A lot of people at my school follow those labels, and I used to be one of them. I had the understanding that if you weren’t wearing what was in or “this season,” you were lost in the world of high school. Mixed up with all the stereotypes, high school itself is one big clique that’s split up into pieces like a broken puzzle. I am seventeen, and at this age, anything can happen in high school.

I believe that I should always use deeper meanings over face values, and none of this started until the eighth grade. I met Ashley McFarland, my best friend, in fifth grade. She was the first person I became friends with in my new class and we bonded right away. The only huge difference between us was that I was dying to be one of the designer kids, and she wasn’t. Fast forward to eighth grade, and I finally made it through the A-list doors. However, this meant leaving my best friend behind.

Being the smart little eighth grader that I was, I took my chances and went for it. About a month later, my whole world came crashing down. A rumor went flying around my junior high and I got booted out of the Abercrombie club. I had no one left to turn to until I found my best friend again. She refused to be there for me at first, but softened up in the end. She had my back on the rumor and convinced me that I didn’t need them to build myself up- I could do that on my own!

She has made me believe that ever since then, I need to be less superficial. I need to appreciate the things that I have and love everyone around me, not just the pretty faces. And the last thing I learned from her? To cherish every bit of my life, even if it seems impossible.