Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life. (200-250 Words)

It started with a question.

Every day before the bell rang, I ranted about my broken friendships to the only person who was willing to listen, my “Spanish buddy.” Instead of tuning me out or rolling her eyes, Peyton listened. She gradually fixed my problem.

“Why don’t you eat lunch with me today?”

That lunch was the first of many. We talked about Trump and Clinton, about Gilmore Girls and Grey’s Anatomy, about colleges and careers. We discovered that we were completely different, but that didn’t matter. Peyton was the iron-sharpens-iron type of friend I had been looking for. She encouraged me when I needed it; she questioned me when I was wrong. Eventually, she didn't need to, because she taught me to question myself.

First, she advised me to question my friendships. I stopped settling for friends who ignored me and found her. From there, she caused me to question what I believe. Peyton and I have radically different views regarding current issues, and while we agree to disagree, she expects me to argue my side. Because of her, I am no longer someone who blindly accepts what seems true. I know how to respond when people question me, because I've had plenty of practice.

Peyton and I could end up hours away after high school,...

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