During middle school, I was not the popular girl, I did not have many friends. I had a small group of friends that I hung out with, but I mostly played travel softball and that’s where I met most of my friends. Went I moved to high school, my small friend group cut in half because of school zones so some went to a different high school. I had a few friends, maybe two that went to the same school as me, and one of them has been my best friend ever since and is now my roommate here at VCU. For the first couple of months, I stayed isolated and focused on the new transition from middle school to high school and school work. I would go to football games every Friday night to support my school team. I met a boy who was a junior at the time and I was a freshman. This was my first serious relationship. We hung out almost every day, he was the popular boy in school with all the friends, good looks, football player, etc. and I fell head over heels for him. We dated for two years on and off and the main reason we broke up every time is still unknown to me. Having someone break up with you for no reason is so hard on a girl and the thoughts of “not being good enough” ran through my mind constantly. My best friend at the time was a boy, he was a year older than me and he would always be my go-to when things got rough. After my first boyfriend and I broke up, me and my best friend at the time started dating and things were perfect. He respected me, he made me laugh, his parents liked me, and it seemed like he loved me. I also dated him for two years. After he graduated high school, he joined the marines but was discharged for personal reasons. He was a changed person when he left bootcamp. He was not sincere or warm anymore. We broke up a couple times because of his lack of communication but during my senior year of high school, he told me he was moving to Pensacola, Florida to live with his grandparents. We decided to get back to together, I don’t know why because things went down hill fast. He would go weeks without talking to me at all, no communication, no texts, no phone calls nothing. After that, my wall was as far up as it could be. I was tired of being hurt and feeling like I was worthless. During this time, I was still playing travel softball, hanging out with more friends, and playing varsity softball for my school. I attended Ring Dance my junior year of high school, I went to my senior banquet and many more memorable events. Some traumatic events happened within my family as well. My grandma had a stroke and my grandfather had a heart attack, both caused from smoking and poor diet, and I got into my first car accident, totaling both vehicles involved. All the while, my neighbor, who had known me for ten years and was a year younger than me was right by my side through all of this. Sadly, he moved to Stafford, Virginia which is three hours away from my house but since our families were best friends, we still got to see each other. He was my biggest supporter and was always my shoulder to cry on. I took advantage of him because he had always had the biggest crush on me, and I knew it but I always pushed him to the side. He really was the best friend any girl could have, and he still is. With him, it all started when he asked me to be his date to his junior/senior prom. I thought nothing of it and that we were just going as friends. I wore an all-black dress with laced up red heels and he wore an all-black tuxedo with a red bow tie and when he saw me for the first time, he was speechless. He had the biggest smile on his face and he hugged me and spun me around. At that time, I knew that he was someone that I wanted to be with. At his prom, we had our first kiss and slow-danced together. It heartbreaking leaving him the next morning to go back home but I asked him to be my date to my prom so I knew I would see him again in a few weeks. For my prom, I wore a flowy yellow and black floral dress that was shorter in the front and longer in the black and lace up black heels and when he saw me this time, he had the same reaction. A couple weeks I graduated from high school with honors and he was there to support me. A week later he asked me to be his girlfriend. I had no hesitation in saying yes because he respected me more than anyone, he made me laugh no matter the situation, he treated me how I have always wanted to be treated, and he was truly my very best friend. We are still together presently, going 9 months together. He comes to stay with me on the weekends, and I go to his house on the weekends to watch him play lacrosse and football for his school team. Moral of the story, do not let any boy treat you any less than what you deserve. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy, and you are loved. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. It may seem like you will never find the one, hell, I don’t even know if I found the right one, but right now it’s all I need. Find someone that makes you feel calm, makes you feel free, and always lets you know you are beautiful.