STUDENT: Underage Consumption; Public Intoxication; Public Urination; Possession of Controlled Substances; Driving Under the Influence; Shoplifting

Where do you want me to start? I have a good laundry list of things, I guess.

Underage drinking, obviously. Public intoxication. Public urination. Just instances of drugs, marijuana, LSD, some with driving.

In middle school, I was a big shoplifter. My friend and I used to steal together: we were nerdy, white, in a white suburb, so people didn’t really look our way.

But one day my friend got caught while I ran away;¬†she went through the juvenile process, and I didn’t. We’d been in girl scouts together. After she was arrested, she was banned from the big road trip; I went. Her life went a totally different way than mine did. She’s now in recovery from a lot of stuff and while I don’t know how much of getting labeled a bad person created that, it couldn’t have helped. I wonder if my life would have gone down that same path.

I think about it all the time. It happened in eighth grade; I’m in college now. She and I grabbed coffee a few weeks ago, and she told me that my mom had told her mom that she was a bad influence. I couldn’t believe it.

It’s a lot to bring back. I just feel really bad.

I’m very lucky, and so glad to be here. My past hasn’t prevented me from being here.