Eighteen year old Lauren applied to six colleges and was accepted to them all. After months upon months of working on applications and personal essays she finally was finished. All that was left to do was pick.
Weeks went by and she still had not made a decision. Becky, her mom, had been asking her every day is she had narrowed it down to maybe two? But no. Lauren was still completely undecided.
On a freezing Monday in December Lauren walked into school, disregarding the looks people gave her and the side comments they would make when she walked by. She knew what they were looking at but tried her hardest to let it go. Justin, another senior, was the worst. Every time Lauren saw him in the halls he would whisper to his friends about her making it extremely obvious. They would talk about her like she was not even there.
After months of this repeated torture at school Lauren had finally had it. She was so sick of walking through the halls and being stared at like a creature no one had ever seen before. In February, Lauren told her mom she was dropping out of school. She could not handle the pressure of the kids at school bullying her to the point of tears day after day.
Lauren’s mom said, “Are you sure? This is a big decision and you may regret it once she gets here.”
Lauren fires back, “I have to! Everyone talks about me and only me all of the time. If they are not talking about me they are staring at me. I cannot do it”
Lyndsay, Lauren’s best friend, could not believe it when Lauren broke the news to her. She pleaded, “But you are so close! Only four months until graduation then you will never have to see any of these kids again!”
Lauren replied, “But in four months I will not be able to hide it anymore. Then everyone will know and it will all only get worse.”
Lyndsay did not know what else to say. Lauren was right. There was no more hiding this secret from the world. After talking to the high school guidance counselor, it was official. Lauren was done with high school and would be able to return next year if she chose to do so. For now, she would stay at home with her mom and the newest member to their family, Jordyn.
Artist: Caitlin Dittrich
School: North Allegheny