This summer, a single text changed my life. What did this text say? “Hey, do you know if Amanda died?” It was so random, blunt, and direct…it had to be a joke. I blew it off and went back to my television show—some new reality program where some unknown girls were fighting for the affection of a popular but unattractive rapper. Then an hour later, there was the news report. The text I had received was right, and that message will forever be the way I found out my closest, oldest friend had died. She had just turned 17 years old. Her life was cut short by an inexperienced driver who couldn’t drive through construction. They hit a barrel, flew unto the other side of the highway, and were struck by oncoming traffic. The teenager who was driving made a simple mistake—one that could happen to any person—and ended her own life as well as my friend’s and her boyfriend’s.
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No parent ever expects to plan their 17 year-olds’ funeral and no teenager expects to go to a friend’s funeral. However, life is not always fair. The only thing to do when something so terrible happens is to learn and grow; learn to live each day to the fullest and grow in your relationships with other people. She will never have an 18th birthday, graduate high school, or attend college…all these milestones I am approaching. That is why I want to achieve all these things and not just for me; for all the teenagers who never had the chance to. Like my best friend.