I caught up with my best friend at dinner the other day. We have been on summer break (and I have been a high school graduate!) for about a month now, which was too long for us to go without hanging out. I showed her my new blog, and she asked me to make a post about her. I can’t say it will be perfect, but I can say I will try. This one is for you, Lys.
My sophomore year of high school, I met a fiery, fierce redhead like nobody else I had ever befriended before. She was funny, fashionable, and friendly (even though she was a little shy). I worked every day to become closer to her, and now she says I’m her “Number 1”!
This redhead is named Alyssa. During the 55 minutes we had class together, we would play Uno! and Sorry! or leave the classroom and walk around. Alyssa has never met a stranger, so she loved seeing and being seen in the hallways at school.
Quickly, Alyssa and I created an unbreakable bond, and she became one of the best friends I have ever had. The 55 minutes I spent in class with her were not enough, so we started off by going to Dairy Queen after school. We laughed and talked ’til it was time to go home.
My friendship with Alyssa is priceless. We want nothing more than each other’s company. No money could ever be of equal value to the friendship she has blessed me with.
Together we have shared her first prom (even though this picture is from her second)…
The results of our campaigning strategies (!!!!!)…
My last day of high school…
And so much more. (Side note: that last picture made me cry.)
I show you all of that to tell you this: don’t use the “R” word. I was given the opportunity to speak to 300 of my peers at my Governor’s Scholars campus last year about something I was passionate about, and this is what I said:
“When you use the ‘R’ word to insult someone or describe an idea that you don’t like, you are automatically insulting my best friend and many other special individuals. When you use the ‘R’ word, you are belittling their accomplishments. You are undermining everything they have worked so hard for. You are discrediting someone who has learned to read and write and do math — just like you.
In the English language, there are 171,476 words, and I’m sure several of them are better insults than the ‘R’ word — so just don’t use it.”
Since then, my philosophy hasn’t changed. That’s why I have pledged to Spread the Word to End the Word. You can do so too by clicking here.