Alyssa Duncan-10th Grade

My new life began on January 27th of this year. After suffering a head injury and emotional breakdown, my Long Term Memory was completely erased. I have no recollection of anyone, place or event prior to this date. It was like I was born at the age of 15. I had to relearn the basic skills in life, make new friends, reestablish relationships with family members, and so much more.

My mother has been the rock in my life. Although I didn’t recognize her, she was patient, kind and understanding of my fears, needs, and unknown. She quit work to help me through this difficult journey, and each day gets a little better.

The most difficult part of being sick, has been losing friendships, and finding out who my true friends are. I’ve learned that people can be cruel to things they do not understand. People, who I thought were my friends left me in the dust . . . and those who have stuck by me do not let my illness stand in the way of friendship.

A famous Dr. Seuss quote that I try to live by is: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” I believe that this is what friendship is about, and this is how I try to live my life.

It’s been a long journey for me so far, and I have even further to go. But I know the few friends that I do have will stick with me through the good and bad. I hope that more young women will stand up for those who are struggling to get through life, as my friend Kayley has done with me.

The daily news is filled with celebrities who are taking a stand against bullying, and even though I’ve not been “bullied,” I have been treated as an outcast by people not only because I’ve been sick, but also because I excel in my school work and activities.

I guess you can say that I’m a brainiac, nerd, whatever. My physics teacher, Linda Hall, believes in my and offered me the chance to apply for an internship that is usually offered to juniors and seniors. She is someone that I admire deeply and has made my school life bearable.

I know that in order to succeed in life, a person must have an education, strength, family and friends. I hope to graduate Valedictorian of my class, and go on to medical school. I want to become someone who will make a difference in the lives of future generations, and to pay back all those who have stood beside me in my darkest hours.

High school has been rough, but I know it’s just a stepping-stone to the bigger, brighter picture. And because of my mother, Mrs. Hall and Kayley, I’ll get through it. I hope that I win this contest, so I can share this with those people who have stood by me.

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