Tooele is a place that people my age claim to hate due to how little there is to do and the amount of bullying in the schools. Although I have two more school years until I graduate, those two factors aren’t really problems for me.
The small size of Tooele has taught me how to have fun without spending money. Besides, with the new Rue 2, Starbucks, and reopening of the Deseret Peak swimming pool, these next two summers will be more fitting to my age; they came just in time for me to turn 17.
As for bullying, that has always been a part of my life and always will. It has shown me who I don’t want to be, who I shouldn’t be friends with, and how similar people truly are as they grow up.
Day by day, nothing changes but when I take a moment to look back on the last two years of my life, I see that everything is different.
Two years ago, I thought that the Evil Queen was ugly, Prince Charming was every girl’s true love, and princesses were supposed to be perfect. I thought that believing in something made it real. Over a short time of 24 months, I slowly discovered that the Evil Queen can be beautiful, that Prince Charming has no true love, and that there is not one human being in the world who is without faults. I’ve discovered these things by doing what I was always scared of doing: growing up.
I have spent the last two years of my life learning who I am and who I want to be, though my learning has been unintentional. Aside from my parents, I’ve learned the most from several of my teachers.
My math teacher taught me how to solve quadratics and how to motivate myself. My creative writing teacher taught me not to be afraid of originality, because there are countless ways to tell the same story. My journalism teacher taught me that people should celebrate their life at every opportunity, and my Spanish teacher taught me what a real teacher is.
It is teachers like these in Tooele who have helped me and influenced my life in ways that they don’t realize. It is teachers like these who make me glad that I live in this town, and happy to continue my high school experience here.
The lessons my math teacher taught me are important because I want to be the best student I can be and learn to take care of my body and I can’t do that without motivation. Because of my life-goal to be a best-selling novelist, the lesson from my creative writing teacher is courage to keep writing and to keep trying. The lesson from my journalism teacher is a reminder to make the most out of my life, no matter where I am in the world.
Through my discoveries growing up, and my lessons from various teachers, I realized that people control their own fate — including me. My eating and exercising habits aren’t going to change unless I change them, that I will offend people at times, and that there will always be bullies.
When I’m done with high school, I plan on going to college to explore and get to know my adult self. But this place is where my family is and where I want my children to grow up. Maybe the reason some people dislike Tooele so much is because they keep moving away to Salt Lake City or other places. But if we stay on the path we are on, keep expanding, growing up together and earning our high school pride, others will appreciate the lessons that are here just as much as I do.
Patience will be a junior at Tooele High School this fall.