On the outside I may appear a normal teenage girl, but while I am a relatively normal girl, I am much more. The experiences and influences in my life have shaped me into who I am today. I use at least ninety percent of my free time watching Netflix and browsing social media. I love to socialize with my friends and cheer at basketball games. I am also interested in photography and knitting, but my procrastination and laziness usually get the best of me. One might think I use all my bumps, bruises, and breaks as a kid as an excuse for my laziness but it is simply due to the fact that I am lazy by nature as I have grown out most of my ailments and conditions. I have broken my foot running track, and have self-diagnosed myself with nerve damage in my toe after dropping a drawer on it when I was eight years old. Even before I was able to hurt myself I had stroke and come out the other side as a survivor with no known side effects. My brain loves for me to be stressed and anxious and it is something I am in constant battle with. The class that contributed most to my stress by far was Algebra II, but my favorite class that I’ve taken is photography and might possibly be a career option in my future. I once almost died in the ocean after being sucked under rolling waves only to be washed up on the beach all beaten up and bloody. That experience has shaped my fear of water that now does not let me even exist inside a pool of water without a panic attack. Another more irrational fear of mine is the fear that cats will scratch out my eyes. I don’t quite have an explanation for this one, but one things certain, I will NOT become a crazy cat lady when I am older. However, a crazy dog lady is still a possibility. I have lived in Belgium for three full years and am starting my fourth and final one. It is nice to be able to start and finish high school since that consistency is rare in the military lifestyle. The first week of freshman year was a bit overwhelming and lonely since I had only met one girl prior to starting school and was a bit too shy to talk to anyone. It was in gym class on the third day of school that I met my best friend. Autumn was new that day and, just like me, didn’t have anyone to talk to or eat lunch with. We played basketball together and from that moment on basically never left each other’s side. Autumn is very special because she is one of the only three people that I’ve managed to keep in contact with after moving away, something I struggle with. Starting my senior year without her is a bit of an adjustment but I’m not letting anything stop me from the end goal of graduation. I hope to follow in my sister’s and father’s footsteps as my dream school would be Penn State, but it is still a question as to whether I can even be accepted, so fingers crossed on that one. I am also planning to apply to a handful of schools in Florida and others in Washington, Virginia and Wisconsin. Being part of a military family includes the almost impossible question that follows you around “where are you from”. Indeed this is a good question and I struggled for quite a bit to formulate the answer but I have finally settled on State College, Pennsylvania. State College, where Penn State is located, has found a spot in my heart to be called home based on many factors. To start off the list, I was born in the college town. I only lived there for two months at the beginning of my life but I did return for the normal three year tour when I was ten years old and my sisters were fifteen and seventeen. I have also met some of my very best friends in Pennsylvania and until very, very recently I would’ve considered the girls there like my sisters. It has become more obvious now though that things are changing as we’ve grown older and am saddened that I sense they don’t feel the same way about me anymore. Pennsylvania is my favorite place I’ve ever lived stateside. I really can’t explain it, but whenever I’m in that town I am always happy and just feel like I belong. My favorite place in Europe and perhaps the world is London. It could possibly be due to all the musicals and shopping therapy that occurs when I visit London, but I am always delighted to go and spend time in the city. Though I may not be as close with the people back in the States, that is one of my favorite things about SHAPE, my friends. I’m not friends with many people, and there definitely are a lot of people I don’t talk to, but the friends I’ve made here make all of the struggles of living in Belgium worth it. SHAPE is filled with some of the most caring, funny and genuine people I know and I am forever grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to live here and meet them. While living in Belgium I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I’ve earned my Gold Award in Girl Scouts, I’ve racked up numerous hours in volunteer work through JROTC and a leadership/service group called Keystone and landed my first job. I currently work at the American Commissary as a bagger. I’ve worked as a bagger for the past two years and made a decent amount of money and learned that “the customer is always right”. I signed up for Career Practicum to further my skills of management and executing tasks as I hope to be a teacher’s assistant for the JROTC program. I signed up for this class partially as a compromise with my father, but I was the one who asked for this over band or health science. I hope to gain useful skills that I will keep through the rest of my life during Career Practicum 2017-2018.