Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Note from the Author: This story is about a relationship struggle I went through that ended poorly, and the ways I was able to conquer/get over the tragic feeling of loss. Talking a little bit about myself, I have a very big passion for helping the poor and needy. I have been on a couple mission trips including to Florida, in our community, Grand Rapids, and Haiti. Those days have changed my life completely. I am also very athletic. I was in soccer for five years, plus volleyball, and am in marching band hopefully throughout my whole high school years. I love to play music. It gives me the chance to relax, letting stress leave the body. I’m in the top concert band currently, playing clarinet for my sixth year. On the side, I play an additional instrument, piano, which I enjoy practicing in my free time. Furthermore, I sing in my church band every Sunday.
— Rachel Warner

The Falling Grace
By Rachel Warner

            I can still remember when I was best friends with a girl who was passionate and full of life, loving and kind. That smile on her face and that laugh of hers brightened my day and that itself made everything worthwhile. We would hang out all the time,  telling each other our deepest of secrets and could fully trust one another. And then, as the days got longer, I started to realize that the connection we once had before was gone. She said nothing and headed for the door, leaving me dumbfounded; leaving me stranded. She left me with nothing but pictures, old memories to look at when I was feeling alone and empty. I can still recall that day when she began to be nothing more than another face it the crowd.

“What did I do?” I cried. “I don’t understand why this is happening.”

“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Stop asking me about it,” she said as she turned on her heels and walked away.

It killed me inside to know that I wasn’t good enough. That she was entirely and utterly fine without me. Those days became months and I was still hiding myself in my room, crying. Not wanting to talk to anyone. I just lay there, listening to the sad music I had planned to listen to. That light started to fade and I couldn’t stay away from the monsters that were catching up.

Staring at the ceiling, I listened to the music ringing in my ears. “Save me I’m drowning alive / And keep me from dying inside / I only want to find my way back home / But I can’t make it alone.”

Goodbyes are always the hardest when they are left unexplained.  Experiencing such loss is double the tragedy and most people don’t know what to do with themselves. No one should have to go through that pain of being forgotten, but having those kinds of things happen is a part of life. It helps you to be where you are today. Without those adversities, we wouldn’t be as strong and mature as before.

I have been thinking a lot about those relationships with others and how all the relationships we have in our lives affect us every day. If you look for the bad, you will always find it. If you look for the good, you will find that too, but our experience of humanity and life itself is truly up to us. Saying that you’re okay is so much easier than explaining all the reasons why you’re not.  Ironic isn’t it? How we tell others to stay strong, yet we can’t do it ourselves? That you cared so much that it destroyed you inside?  How the anger or sadness bubbles up to a rate that’s so high and you have no idea how to comprehend your feelings? I found that you have to forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

I decided to give it one more attempt. Right when I got to school, I saw her and another friend making conversation. I made a brave move by walking up to them to say hello.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I… well…. I just thought…”

“Okay,” she rudely interrupted.  Rolling her eyes, they walked away laughing. That was the day I finally gave up.

The purpose of life is to live in peace, to love all beings and to know who you are. Know yourself, and you know everything. Throughout my years in middle school and high school, are some of the few places where I’ve learned the most about myself. Like most people say, I don’t like school, but I don’t love it either. In my mind, high school is like the waiting room for real life. To get to the real world, you have to go through all the experiences of being a teenager.

The immaculate knowledge alone is: emptiness. How can you come out of this when there are no limits? The appearance of a manifestation is but the play of this emptiness. Know who you are here, and now, by simply being quiet. Taking some peace and quiet might be all that you need. It’s all I needed, it just took a lot longer to bandage my shattered heart. Think about where you are now and how you can get through the situation.

You deserve to live your life filled with joy and happiness. Do not let the actions of others push you away from your religion, your family, or your real friends that care and deserve to have someone like you.

You can’t force love, I realized. It’s either there or it isn’t. If it’s not there, you have to be able to admit it. If it is there, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and the people who create it. Surround yourself with people who make your life, forget the bad and focus on the good and not the kinds of people who leave a trail of memories and decide not to be there to make new ones. Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, but getting back up is living.

Rachel is a rising junior at Jenison High School. Her persuasive narrative was submitted by her sophomore year English teacher, Mr David Hast.

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