Journey into Neverland

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

The first thing I learned in sophomore-year chemistry is that when two atoms or molecules hit each other with enough force while oriented in the correct manner, magic can happen. Well, “magic” isn’t exactly the word that the textbook uses, but that’s basically what it is. Two particles can come together in such a way that they form bonds and create an entirely new compound that may not outwardly resemble the two component substances. They become something new and often unexpected.

When I began high school, I didn’t really fit in anywhere. I was just one atom drifting around, looking to be part of something greater. However, it’s basic chemistry knowledge that not just any two particles can bond together. Two lithium ions bonding together? Absolutely ridiculous. The components have to be a good fit, and I tried to find the right fit for me in many different groups: the jocks, the musicians, and even the popular kids. In all my searching, there was one thing that I knew for sure: I would NOT be a nerd. Nerds, to me, were people who called themselves “Mathletes” and sat around playing with their calculators on Friday nights while everyone else was at the football game. If high school was the afterlife, a nerdy reputation was the...

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