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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Looking at my past, being in my present, dreaming of my future: age 13 and 17

A+picture+of+the+middle+school+follower+I+used+to+be.
Hannah Levering
A picture of the middle school follower I used to be.

In middle school, she thought nothing could beat reading, besides, perhaps, saying she reads. 

She loved escaping her boring life to worlds of magic and intrigue. She was absolutely enthralled with dystopian books, as were the people she surrounded herself with.

And as Wattpad-esque as it sounds, mentally, she was in the Hogwarts library reading next to Hermione Granger and wincing as Harry Potter ran down a long corridor screaming for his life. Mentally, she was in the Hunger Games arena, painting herself to look like a rock with Peeta Mellark while Katniss Everdeen slept in a tree far above her head. Mentally, she was singing around the campfire at Camp Half-Blood and being welcomed by her sister Annabeth Chase, who was leaning on her boyfriend Percy Jackson. Mentally, she was the first to jump with Tris into the Dauntless headquarters. 

She thought they made her cool. But, even as she never faltered in her following, she dreamed of leading.

Mentally, she was never in the real world. 

Her head swam with the possibilities the world of words gave her; she could be anything or anyone. She could be anyone but herself. She could be the hero leading the charge against a corrupt government that was always the true villain.  

She loved imagining she was a leader—in the real world, she spent so much of her time following others, believing they were better than she. She didn’t question her devotion to following them; she just thought they knew best, and she would fit in the real world if she followed them. She thought they made her cool. But, even as she never faltered in her following, she dreamed of leading.

She never thought to lead in real life—she left that for her imagination in the worlds of dystopian. 

She has grown from a 13-year-old middle school girl who followed without a doubt to a 17-year-old high school senior girl who has formed her own opinions and learned how to doubt. 

She knows now that she can lead and follow at the same time.

She leads in many aspects of her life now. She leads her sister and her two best friends. She leads in her writing class. She leads at her work. She leads in her day-to-day activities. She also follows. She follows at work. She follows in her day-to-day activities. She follows her older family members. She follows people on social media. But now, she knows when to follow and when to lead. She can tell when to step back and when someone needs help. She can question what to follow and when to divert from that path.

She also knows that she doesn’t need to be anything or anyone; she only needs to be herself. There may be many versions of her, they may be made up of the many people in her life and the many characters she read about over and over again, but they are all her. 

She went from a middle school girl to a high school girl who loves dystopian books for who they made her want to be, and she will keep growing with those novels in the back of her mind.

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About the Contributor
Addy Cousins, Editor-in-Chief
Addy is a senior, and this is her fourth and final year on The Central Trend. Addy's love for writing inspired her to join the school newspaper, and it has helped her love writing even more and she has found some of the greatest friendships through the class. Outside of writing, she spends her time watching TV and hanging out with her friends and family.   Her Favorite Book: The Secret History by Donna Tartt Her Comfort Movie: She's The Man Her Favorite Time: 1:23 Her Lucky Number: 7

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