Toxic Friends

By Shanice, age 15, South Africa

A few years back, I used to be close friends with this girl. Let's call her 'Caroline'. Caroline was really funny and I enjoyed spending time with her. But she could also be really mean. She picked on me occasionally and laughed at me whenever she could. She always made snide remarks and comments that were indirect insults.

Surely, then, I should have left her alone, right? Well, I tried, and she never left me alone. So I was stuck with Caroline, hating her whenever she picked on me and being friends with her whenever it seemed like she needed me.

Then one day, Caroline and I had a fight. We never spoke to each other again. Well, I never spoke to her. She still picked on me. It didn't make a difference to me. She had always been like that.

Then, we went into high school. Caroline was not with me that time, thank God. I became friends with better people and was now one of the most popular girls in my class.

All was good ... until three years later when Caroline decided she would attend my high school. Of course, she didn't attend the school with the sole intention of torturing me. Or, maybe she did. Who knows?

But I was terrified of seeing her again. That day I spent the entire morning fixing up my hair and fighting away tears. I spent half an hour doing my hair, and nothing seemed good enough.

Then I remembered my dad complaining, years ago, about how my hair looked fine. The last time I had been upset about the way my hair set was when I was friends with Caroline.

It was a startlingly, sad realisation that she had made a great impact on me. I had always thought that I was okay with the way she treated me. You know, 'sticks and stones,' and all that.

It was then that I decided there was no way I would allow her to rule over my life. I was not that dowdy girl who thought of herself as a loser. I was a cool, confident young woman who could achieve anything she wanted to.

It was with this change of attitude that I tied up my hair - for the last time - grabbed my backpack, and walked out the door to face my demons.

My point? Don't ever let anyone bring you down, and if there is someone who brings you down, then stay away from them. You are what you think you are. Or, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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