Did you ever feel alone even though you’re among friends? It’s like they are there, but you’re somewhere else? Sometimes you wish you were somewhere else. It seems it’s all about impressing them versus getting to know them. And you can’t really be yourself, because you might say something that becomes tomorrow’s gossip.
That’s the way it was for me. I learned to control my feelings and myself. Sure, I’d smile and play along, but deep down I knew I had to be guarded. It was like being in a house of mirrors. Who could you trust? What could you or couldn't you say? There was no sense of belonging or self-expression. And you really struggled to fit in.
My friends have always been important to me. They are a reflection of me—a part of my life. We share the things that matter and let down our guards to let each other in on our lives—to share what’s good and what isn't so good about them. But I hadn't been able to do that in quite awhile.
I learned there are friends and…there are friends. Those people you can probably count on one hand —the ones who will stand by you, while others talk behind your back. Those who are there when you really need them and I mean reallyneed them.
I found those kinds of friends when I found On Point. At last, a group of people I can be myself around. There’s no pretense or phoniness or “I’m better than you are.” There’s just us—keeping it real.
I joined my freshman year. My mom had told me about On Point’s Teen Board. She said it would be a chance for me to develop a sense of responsibility and gain leadership skills. I was really nervous when I walked in to my first Teen Board meeting, but people were so welcoming and open. I was like… so relieved.
That was four years ago and now I’m a senior. I’m one of the people that I looked up to for guidance when I first joined the Board. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility and the need to lead by example. I know how overwhelming peer pressure can be and I want to share the support and positive values I received from the Teen Board with others so they don’t give in to it.
On Point has helped me become a stronger person. Not only does my life have direction, but I am committed to helping others find purpose and direction in theirs. I want each of them to see what it’s like to be in control of their future. And, that the lessons I've learned at On Point are lessons that will serve me the rest of my life.
Mary Davis is a member of Red Circle, students who assist with admission events and touring prospective students. She also serves as a peer tutor, helping others with homework and their studies. Prior to her freshman year, she was selected for a people leadership trip to Australia. She is also an accomplished and competitive tennis player and has been on the team for seven years.
Motto: Be Yourself