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200 Reasons Why Not

~ Going into freshman year, I was suicidal and on a lot of drugs and having serious issues at home.  I didn’t see another way out, was self-harming, and was going to commit suicide, but Jesse Alonso got me into football and became a big role model and always had my back and was there for me and protected me like an older brother.  Now I live and breathe football and love it and it is my passion, all thanks to Jesse.  Jesse is the reason why I’m alive.

~ I am continuously supported by family and amazing people I’m grateful to have as my friends.

~ I came into freshman year not knowing a single person.  thankfully, I found wonderful friends that made me feel like I had a place at this school.  My friends are my reason why not.

~ I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by friends who care a lot about me.  I’m reminded every day how important it is to spend time with people who care about your well-being and make you smile.

~ Last weekend, I was on an extremely stressful camping trip.  I had put so much stress on myself that I distanced myself from everyone and felt like I could almost pass out.  one of the adults on the trip came and told me everything was going to be okay and that I was a great leader.  I was so grateful that someone recognized I wasn’t well that I immediately started crying.  I knew that someone cared.  That is my reason.

~ During junior year, I went through many big changes, one being the separation of my parents.  For a while I felt very alone and like I had no one to talk to.  Then I started spending more time with my brother and I began to feel better.  My brother is my reason why not.

~ I’ve certainly been through hard times in middle school through high school.  I was bullied for being skinny and underweight by the other guys and felt very insecure about it.  If someone hit me I really felt afraid to hit back.  So I came across as a weak person.  I was too in my own head and considered suicide several times in my life.  But in March of 2014 I joined a gym and started to eat healthier.  I gained a lot of confidence and was very self-motivated, and realized that there is much more to life; that ending it so soon would be completely foolish.

~ I can’t go a day without someone noticing my mood or how I’m doing that day, with people always asking.

~ Sophomore year, I did not believe that I would make any new friends, and would gradually become more lonely over time as we all began to make different choices and actions.  However, as my prior relationships slowly dissolved, and I became far more lonely, I met a group of friends who took me in, even when it seemed as though everyone had already found their place.  To those friends, who I still eat lunch with every day, thank you.

~ Because I know I have a loving family who loves me and supports me when I’m down.  I have friends who care for my well-being and they notice when I’m down and see If I am ok.  I am surrounded by kindness and love.  I’m surrounded by my loving family and friends.  And that is my reason why not.

~ Any day I could be down and just have a sucky day, but my best friend Lucie Martikan can help me through it because she just knows how to get me into a better mood.

~ The past years a lot has happened and I’ve gone through a lot, but I could never have gotten through it without my best friend Cielo Gonzalez.  She’s been my best friend for four years and she’s my reason why.

~ Genevieve Nichol inspires me to stay my true humble self.  Also, my man Wyatt is a pretty solid person.  He keeps me staying strong and healthy.

~ Every day I am uplifted by the humor of a kid names Aidan Borganovo

~ Even when I am unbearable you bear with me.  Even when I am unlovable you love me.  Even when I am inconsolable you console me.  You show me that it is okay to feel unfixable and incurable.  My mom and friends are my reason.

~ You are always there for me.  You listen to everything I have to say and give the best advice.  Love you, mom.

~ I’m chillin.  I’m moving back to family and friends.  It’ll be alright.

~ Once upon a time I was on a sunrise hike in the headlands.  I arrived at a ridge overlooking the bay.  As I looked out the beauty of the surroundings struck me.  I thought “I need to use the gift of life to enjoy people and the planet.”  The bounty of life is my reason why not.

~ At the end of freshman year I didn’t have a lot of friends.  I felt alone and depressed and I didn’t really have a place to go.  This was until someone took me in and I found my passion.  I feel so happy and grateful now for this person and this program.  Maddie Recinos and the Drake music department are my reason why not.

~ One time I was feeling very stressed out, but then my grandma gave me a massage and a cup of tea and told me that grades and finishing every homework assignment isn’t the only thing that matters in the big picture of life.  She reminded me that in a matter of weeks I would probably forget about these tests and assignments.  She reminded me to focus on the important things like spending time with family.  I felt much better after.  My grandma’s works of wisdom and comforting hugs always remind me of how much there is to appreciate in life.

~ Sophomore year I felt very alone.  Although I was surrounded by friends, I still felt as though I didn’t have anyone to talk to   one day a senior who drove me to sports practice asked me if I was okay, since she noticed I had been down recently.  Just that simple act of kindness allowed me to open up.  Rebecca DeAngelis is my reason why not.

~ Well, when I was a freshman, I had a pretty big problem.  I came to school not knowing anybody!  So what was I do to?  I felt lost and overwhelmed being surrounded by so many strangers.  Luckily I made a friend by the name of Mark.  Marks showed me around and showed me that Drake was an incredible place, with incredible people.

~ When I was a freshman I wanted to lay lacrosse and mountain biking.  The seasons are the same so I couldn’t do both.  I chose the mountain bike team and found an amazing group of people.  I am very happy with my choice and wouldn’t trade that community for the world.  The mountain bike team is my reason why not.

~ Cameron loves me.  We are friends.  My friends are one of my reasons why not.

~ Once upon a time I was in third grade.  It was the first day back from summer and I was excited to be in school again.  A new kid opened the door and walked into Mrs Boggs classroom and was met by a tall awkward kid that said, “Hi, my name is Austin, want to be friends?”  My life matters because I know that I always try to make those around me happier and more comfortable.

~ Because there is so much left for me to do.  I’ve worked very hard and survived so much, to give up early.  My future is my reason why not.  I know that my future will be bright and a time I was reminded of this is when my teacher Ms Salle told all of us that no matter what we were all going to be successful because we are all intelligent and capable people that’s how you measure yourself and your future.

~ My dog, my parrot, my mom, my dad, my brother, chemistry, music, future family, education, humor and friendship, future pets, books, nature.  These may seem simple but they make all the difference.

~ We often can be overcome with the competiveness and overwhelming feeling of wanting to win.  This can lead people to be unintentionally mean or on edge, something that is often found in the sport I do, mountain biking.  This however changed when I was put into the sophomore category last year.  Everyone in my row was nice and always willing to talk and enjoyed racing each other.  We respected each other and were excited and happy to see each other win and made each other feel better on the days we did not.  Even though we were on different teams, we supported and enjoyed being around each other, something pretty rare in a sport.  This is my reason why not.

~ My reason is that I value and am excited for my future!  I have worked hard to be where I am, and thinking back on my dedication to friends, family, school, and extra-curriculars, I hope this will reflect my plans for the future.  I am excited to travel and meet new people.

~ Years and years ago, when  I was but a wee boy, I was fascinated by the stars in the sky.  I’ve always loved laying down and gazing up at the endless night.  I’ve had many a peaceful moment pondering that darkness, and those little blips of light.  I’m always reminded of my place in this world, however small it may be.  Self-led astronomy is my reason why not.

~ I believe in my future and have worked hard to prepare for my future and I wouldn’t want to waste that.  I have seen someone close to me struggle and get through their difficulties and now they are so much happier than they were.  I have faith in the future.

~ One day I was walking down the hallway, and someone I had never talked to smiled at me.

~ A reason why I know my life matters is my relationship with my friends and my family.  We support each other and lift each other.  If one person was missing from the puzzle, everything would fall apart.

~ Friends and family, summer, nature, poetry, rain, chocolate, reading, music, future goals, pasta, pets, traveling.  Being with my friends and family make me so happy, I don’t know what I would do without them.  They are always there to cheer me up and to put a smile on my face.

~ My family, my cat, food, my friends, Netflix, the urge to see the world, my sister, music, swimming, a permanent solution to a temporary problem, my hobbies, nature, my dog.  One time I was feeling down and then my sister came into my room followed by my dog and helped to comfort me.  I don’t know what I would do without my family and my friends.

~ Friends, nature, family, cake, Netflix, horse-riding, swimming, future goals, the beach, my dogs, a good sandwich, a day with no homework, Oreos in milk.  Going to the beach with friends on the weekend is always a great way to de-stress and enjoy life!

~ Mom, dad, sister, Ginger, Jynx, Elena’s parrot Cosmo, sports, friends, college, Shannon’s laugh, books, Ray-Ray, the future.  These things are important to me and I don’t want to give them up.

~ My family, Elena Laughlin, my cat, all the food, all the memories, the world still needs to be explored, jokes make me laugh, all my other friends, Elena’s parrot – she makes me laugh, the warm sun on my back at the beach – I love the beach, my future family, ice cream, my sugar daddy.  All these things matter to me and I don’t want to give that up.

~ Know my life matters because when I tried out for the sports (soccer) team, everyone lifted each other up.  I was so impressed with the spirits on the field, it made my heart soar.  I loved the thrill and I never wanted to let it go.

~ I love my brother.

~ My reason why not is all the hard work I’ve put in for my future and how excited I am to see where I end up.  All the effort I’ve put in is for a reason and I would never let that go to waste.

~ I know that my life matters because of how many people care about me, and how much I care about others.  I positively affect my peers and have an important impact on my community, including family and friends.  I do believe that my presence as a living human makes this a better place.

~ When I was 14, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic.  It was unlike anything I had ever imagined.  Experiencing Dominican life, culture, food, and traditions was an incredible experience.  I was immersed into a culture where I could barely understand the language.  I had to let go of any stereotypes I had and simple live in the moment.  This event made me realize that there is so much of the world I had yet to see.  My new mission was to travel, learn, and meet new people.  The world has so much beauty and there is still so much to be experienced.  My passion for travel is my reason why not.

~ My sophomore year I wasn’t in my usual state of mind.  I was constantly stressed and overwhelmed.  I was unhappy with how I was doing in school and in sports.  I had certain people in my life that were telling me to give up and just accept that things weren’t going to improve.  But this year, I am back, happier and stronger than ever thanks to my Mom.  She is my reason why I push myself to be the best version of myself and still love myself when I’m at my worse.

~ After Lance died, there was a real hole in the community.  It was really hard to accept he was gone, and we all missed his positivity.  We helped each other get through it.

~ 8th grade and sophomore year I had lost 2 family members, one by car accident and another by cancer.  But not only had I lost them but myself too.  I lost interest in everything I was previously passionate about, got into bad habits and got stuck in a lonely black hole.  It was hard to talk to others about what was going on with me until I met a new friend, Angie.  Her mother had cancer at the time and later died too.  Angie and I connected so well that we helped each other get out of our depression.  She is the reason why I moved past my dark times.

~ When I was a freshman pretty much all of my friends left me for other groups.  I had a really hard time finding out who I would eat lunch with for that day.  My sister was a junior at the time and she really helped me thorough the year and made sure that I wasn’t alone at lunch.  I have met a lot of new people since then and I don’t have to worry about being alone at lunch anymore.  My sister is my reason why.

~ When time get rough many people look for a way out, not forward.  Sometimes they decide on suicide, but to me suicide is not the right one.  My family is my main reason why not.  I can’t imagine life without anyone of them and I know they feel the same way about me.  I know I will always have unconditional love and support when times are hardest for me I look forward.

~ After being asked to leave the high school I attended freshman year I was very sad and discouraged.  But my family helped me realize that all roads that lead to success have detours and it’s how you overcome them that helps you more than not having difficulties.  My dad and my sister are my reason why.

~ My mom and dad have been very supportive despite rough times I’ve had in junior year.

~ I came into class every day feeling lonely.  I didn’t really talk to anyone and wasn’t happy.  One day I was sitting alone and someone I hadn’t talked to in years asked if he could sit next to me.  That act of kindness made me feel better for the rest of the year.  Zev Revis is my reason why not.

~ I know that my life matters because of my friends.  Knowing every day that I have a group of friends who care about me makes me happy.  My friends are my reason why not.  Also my family has helped me through a lot.

~ Whenever I’m feeling down about anything my mom always is there for me.  I get really scared about grades, getting into college.  She always reassures me that everything will work out.

~ I once went to my AP Comp class on a Friday and my friend Parker wasn’t there.  I was feeling sad.  Luckily, Parker just walked in late after tutorial, so everything was ok.

~ I’d like to thank a certain friends for helping me through some tough times when I needed him most.

~ One random day when I felt as though nothing was going my way, I was beginning to feel really down.  Out of nowhere, my friend brought me back a hot sandwich from lunch and all of a sudden I felt like there was at least one nice person out there.

~ When I thought my life didn’t matter I hid the way I felt.  I didn’t show anyone.  I wasn’t the center of attention so my feelings were easy to hide.  Like any normal teenage girl I laughed and smiled.  At home however, I heavily argued with my mom and as quietly as I could I cried myself to sleep to not draw any attention.  I hid it to now be an inconvenience, but as I tried to look deeper into what was wrong with me, I started to realize that is I really didn’t matter then I shouldn’t be worked about showing it.  Over a bit more time, it got to the point I couldn’t take.  I fi didn’t open up I didn’t know what I would end up doing.  I had already started cutting a bit and I was ashamed of it.  Finally, I convinced myself to take a small group of my friends to a secluded part of the school’s field and told them everything.  They were all shocked and felt bad for never noticing.  They vowed to always be there for me and told me how much I matter to them.  It is wasn’t for my friends, I don’t know how I would have turned out.

~ Junior year has been a rough year.  I had many family problems going on and was feeling very lost.  My dad had lost his job and I knew my life mattered because he needed his children.  The happiness we brought him in a time of distress made me realize that my life does matter.

~ Freshman year I went through a time when I felt very alone because my friend group had left me.  With the support of my current friend group I feel very thankful.

~ In middle school I was sick for half of 7th grade and ended up not being able to leave the house for a long time.  I felt completely alone and hopeless.  My best friend at the time kept me from feeling like I had no one.  It took me a long time to get through the sickness and depression, but now I know how to help myself out of a bad time and I know how important it is to be there for others.

~ I’m thankful for my mom.  She’s my reason why not.

~ Middle school was a very difficult time where I had been betrayed by friends and wasn’t’ sure who was there for me and who wasn’t.  My mom played a huge role into ensuring that everything would play out and be okay.  Middle school is a place where everyone is finding themselves and experiencing a range of emotions.  If I were to give advice to anyone who is going through problems with friends, it would be that true friends will always back you up and stand by you.  Mom, thank you for your support.

~ I have a really good family and friends.  I have kept my friends really close, sophomore year I met one of my now lifelong friends.  Emma.  She has always been there for me.  I also got really close with two of my other best friends, Sofia and Alexa.  Those three friends have an always will be there no matter what or how far away we all are from each other.

~ My freshman and sophomore and a little of my junior year were some of the hardest I’ve ever had in my life.  Someone I looked up to all my life suffered with alcoholism, and it destroyed my family.  At the same time, I dealt with a lot of health issues that left me feeling isolated and worthless.  While I was going through this, I had little to no support from someone who is very important to me, and this broke my heart.  All of this going on at the same time was overwhelming.  The feelings of not being good enough and the fear that is would never end made me want to give up completely.  The only thing that kept me going on one particularly bad night was my family.  I knew how much they cared about me and how I would not only end my life, but theirs too.  I am thankful for them for getting me out of that depression and into the great place I am in today.

~ Freshman year I was in a friend group I felt didn’t care about me.  They would leave for lunch without me and hang out together without me.  Sophomore year I met friends who have stayed with me no matter what and made sure I know they care about me.  Allie Klein is my reason why.

~ For three years I felt alone and sad.  That no one cared about me and that even though I was always surrounded by people I felt alone.  I didn’t know or feel comfortable enough to talk to someone and get helped.  This feeling of hopelessness and thoughts of wanting to end my life lasted for three years.  It wasn’t until the end of 8th grade that I finally got too tired of being so sad and afraid of myself (that I would do something I regret) that I didn’t care if I was uncomfortable discussing my feelings.  I just knew I needed help.  So I did the hardest thing I have ever done and sent a note to my school counselor.  She immediately called me into her office and talked with me after years of me being silent.  That day I spilled three years’ worth of pain to a complete stranger.  Before I left her office she made me promise not to hurt myself.  She was the first person to show me someone cared so I promised her I would care about me too.  And I did. Not only did I keep the promise but I also continued to see her and get help.  The very first week at Drake I walked into Sheila’s office and again asked for help but this time I wasn’t embarrassed. I was just taking care of myself and upholding a promise.  The most amazing part of this story is the fact that when I eventually told my parents and friends they shared stories where they felt the same way.  Or if they hadn’t, they expressed to me that they care.  I realized I wasn’t alone.  I will always be thankful to my middle school for unknowingly providing me with the help I needed and making the resources we had easily available.  I am also extremely grateful to my counselor for making me promise just to love myself and for caring.  I am now on the wellness advisory just to make sure other kids know people care too.  I am thankful to my friends and family for helping me when I needed.  In the end I have learned that the pain is NOT forever and that there is help available.  People who care and love me even when I don’t.  My reason why not is because I AM NOT ALONE and neither is anyone else.  It is now my goal to make other hurt kids know that and be the person I needed to when I was younger.


~ Last year was a pretty rough year for me; my parents got divorced, my friend group turned into people that I didn’t want to be like because of how horribly mean they were or how they couldn’t stand up for themselves.  I had no one I could talk to, or no one I wanted to talk to because I like to solve my problems on my own and not burden anyone with them.  I also thought that I had to be the rock for my mom and sisters.  The year went on like this with me bottling up my feelings and not really caring about much.  Summer came and I went to a month sleep away camp that I had been going to for a lot of my life.  There I re-remembered what friends are supposed to feel like and make you feel and I saw how much I needed people like that.  So, I finally opened up about my year to the people there and realized that I needed to change something about my life.  Two of my friends from camp went to Drake and when they talked about their lives and friends I could tell how genuine they were and how loved and comfortable they felt with them.  They convinced me to come to Drake, but none of us thought it would actually happen.  I wrote a letter home and when I came back I had been registered for Drake.  This has been the best year of my life and I have met the best, most loving people in the world.  Jane and Emma you helped me more than you know and I don’t know where I’d be without you guys.  You and all of the other amazing people in my life are my reason why not.


~ I know my life matters because I have friends and loving people around me.  I do a wonderful sport that I know I will always have some fun doing.  There are people who I always know will make me happy no matter what and will make my day.  My dog will always lighten my mood with his funny looks and energy.  On days when I don’t have the best day I just remember the things in the past and future that will always change my mood for the better.

~ I’m different.  They may not seem big to some but I am the one with differences.  I feel that I am not part of my family.  I am not blood-related to them.  They treat me as a daughter and sister but I know the truth.  My siblings used to make fun of me because I am adopted.  That is long gone now but there is some effect.  I am different because of my looks and my mind, in a way.  I think differently, I act differently, that’s why I am prescribed.  And I never asked for this, it was given to me.  My siblings taunt me or roast me for taking my medicine, they say it’s to make me smart or normal.  Is it?  They have it easy, I have it hard.  But they’re younger so they must learn from their older sibling.  I know that they love me, somewhere deep in their hearts.  I like to be with my dog, he is neurotic, so he is our special little boy.  Just like I am their special little girl.  My dog and I are both challenged in a variety of ways, he is there for me like I am for him.  We’re special, no doubt about it.  Bring on the heat, we’ll make it through.

~ You don’t know it yet, but you are being watched.  Everywhere you go, you feel as if someone is watching you, interrogating, judging your every move.  As you walk down the halls, on the sidewalk, even in the mall, you are constantly checking your surroundings, hoping nobody is following you.  These are some of the thoughts that go through a young girls or a teens mind.  My friend reassured me to be confident because nobody was watching me but myself, nobody was judging me but myself and I didn’t need anyone to be confident in me or to give me confidence but I needed to be confident in myself, on my own time.

~ I have so many individuals surrounding me constantly, who love me.  Constantly supporting me and encouraging me to be better.  I love myself inevitably until my physical body leaves me.  I love this life I live, by chance.  What are the odds that I come onto earth to live this life? It really can’t be a coincidence.  I look around me and feel joy for the abundance in my life.  I look around and appreciate all there is.  I could be broken mentally or physically, eyes rolling to the back of my head, death at my front door from war.  But I don’t.  How terribly lucky I am.  How terribly lucky indeed.  I’m thankful for the house I live in and the bed I sleep on.  I’m thankful for socks and cups and soup.  I’m thankful for clothes and blankets and pillows.  I’m thankful for my education, there are millions of girls, women, men dreaming of living this life I live, full of information.  I’m thankful for the ability to be anything I want to be if only I have the thought.  I’m thankful that I have a pencil and pen and paper to write with.  I’m thankful for books and their unlimited amounts of knowledge that improve my mind.  I’m thankful for Mother Nature and all that she provides us with.  I’m thankful.

~ I think that as a teenager with contradicting and vibrant emotions we have a tendency to adapt to a show like 13 Reasons Why in a manner that intensifies the poor aspects of our life, not that the actions taking place in the show weren’t worth touching on.  So I think it’s important that we’re reminded of the happy moments in our lives.  I know my life matters because of the relationships I have with others.  I think the ability to connect and enjoy company of others makes my life matter.

~ Earlier this year I felt like I had hit rock bottom.  I have always known my whole life how truly lucky I have been, but I just couldn’t see the good in anything.  My mood really gets affected with how I am with my friends, but at this particular low point I also lost trust and love for my mom.  It took m e a while to get out of my rut, where it felt like I was doing without meaning, or purpose.  Eventually I found my light from my sister, dad, and step-mom, who together have become my family.  My light also flourished with newfound love for tennis, and with the newfound closeness of my friends Savannah, Tatum, and Vivian.  I can’t describe how much these people mean to me.  They are my reasons why not.

~ My first couple months of freshman year was sort of all over the place.  I never wanted to leave the house or go to school.  I felt alone and like I had no one to talk to.  Although every day I had made new friends every day I did attend.  About a month ago I found someone who makes me want to be a better person every day, encourages me to try new things, has taught me so many things, makes me happier every day.  Although I had suicide thoughts I was never tempted to try anything because I know life has so many good things to come and of course bad things.  I’m happy I will have someone by my side to help me.

~ Because I dance.  I dance and I love it and not just as a hobby but everywhere all the time.  I don’t care who watches, I don’t care who joins in.  I just dance because it makes me so happy.  I dance for myself and I dance for others too.  It is an expression of myself and my happiness or even of my sadness.  It is an expression of myself in the simplest most beautiful form I can master.  I dance for my brother who is loyalty.  I dance for Kristen, who is delight.  I dance for Chris who is support.  I dance for my mom who is bravery and trust and I dance for so much more.  Dance is why not.

~ Even at my darkest I always see a light.  Far away or close, it’s always there.  My mother, her laugh, her smile, my brother, my dog, my friends, a meme, the smell of the air in the morning.  Something so simple can be something so big.

~ Oscar, mum, dad, friends, family, love, memes, movies, music, nice food, sex.

~ Music, weekends with friends, exercise, spending time with the lads, spending time with my girlfriend, surfing, the ocean, summer time.

~ Every night, I go to bed grateful to be alive.  Every day, I wake up grateful to be alive.  After treatment, tears, and hospitalization, I can proudly say my life is mine again.  I will spend my whole life whispering that to myself under my breath and never get tired of it.  I am alive.  My life is mine.

~ The mirror is my reason why not.  Not the mirror that I force a smile onto my face for, but the mirror that shows me as myself truthfully.  The mirror which shows me all of the friends, family, and people who love and support me.  The mirror which shows me the brilliant faces of good people  I have yet to meet and reflects my potential and fortune back out at me when I can’t see it myself.  Everyone and everything that is kind and supportive.  The dreamers who stand beside me in the mirror are my reason why not.

~ I felt very isolated after I moved across the country, believe it or not.  I didn’t have any friends and most of the friends I had in the past had been selfish and not supportive.  During this time I was having trouble adjusting to a brand new life.  One of the reasons why this was tolerable was my wonderful family who stuck by me the whole way.  Also an amazing junior named Casey Dowd, my first friend in California.  Really helped me to become the person I am today.  They are both my reasons why not.

~ Two years ago, I started to struggle socially.  I went to a small school, and in seventh grade, it got pretty bad.  There was almost no one that I wanted to be with.  Eighth grade wasn’t much better.  It was probably worse, but I was used to it now.  Then, as a freshman at Drake, I instantly found friends, and ones that I chose.  The fact that the situation can always change is my reason why not.

~ When school got really stressful towards the end of the year everything seemed to be falling apart.  My room got super messy and I felt stressed being in it.  One morning my dad stayed home from work and cleaned my room, re-organizing everything.  That simple change made everything feel so much easier and more manageable.  That is one of my reasons why not.

~ Every winter, I get depressed because seasonal depression runs in my family.  However, last year, I met someone who never failed to check up on my, take care of me, and refused to give up on my through those long months.  Last winter was the first in four years that I felt happy, and depression didn’t cloud my every day.  I was able to breathe, and through my bad days, he stuck by me and helped me through it.  I’m lucky to have this person in my life and to pick me up when I’m low.  Daniel RItthaler is my reason why not.

~ Freshman year I had people who I ate lunch with and whom I considered my friends, but when it came down to it they were not my friends.  Friends are people who want to be with you just as much as you want to be with them and that was not true in that case.  Although now I have plenty of amazing wonderful friends in my life, the one that stayed with me through it all was my dog.  My dog Bear is my reason why.

~ The very definition of power, social, economic or ethical, is having no options.  While suicide may be an option, it immediately takes away all of your other options.  Some people may see suicide as the only option, that is never the case.  It just seems illogical that someone would not only set themselves back to square one on the power scale, but put themselves at metaphorical square zero.

~ I have the most amazing friends in the world.  This year, I became part of a fantastic group of friends who are so caring, loving, and kind.  Whenever I have a day where they notice I am not feeling too happy, or when something happens they know upsets me, they always reach out.  They truly care about me, and give me advice and tell me they are here for me.  That is my reason why not.

~ Because of my family and friends.

~ Family, friends, food, love, Mt Tam, beautiful Marin.

~ My sister, we’re so lucky, ROCK, love, Marin, our teachers care, traveling the world, food, hugs from my friends.

~ Life is life – it’s worth living ALWAYS.  Suicide is irrational – I would know (I’ve had experience in some sense).  Friends, family, my girlfriend (almost), photography and my creative drive, nature and being connected, my mindset, my ability to communicate and help others with problems similar to mine.  Helping people in general no matter what problem it is they are facing.  Honestly my outlook on life!  I love life to the max and there’s so many reasons why I can’t put them down.  I’m just extremely glad about where I’ve come and where I’m at, and I’m stoked to see where the future goes!

~ Friends.  Family.

~ Beach, the wilderness, birds, camping, dogs, sunrises, lakes, biking, sleeping, backpacking, TEAM, ornithology, TV.

~ My friends and family love and appreciate me.  My pets make me happy.  My parents being unbelievable loving, accepting and supporting in all aspects of my life.

~ I am loved by many family and friends.  I’m nice and loving to everyone I meet.  You only have one life, why kill yourself.  If I killed myself I wouldn’t see my baby brother and little sister grow up.  Even if you get hurt or depressed there’s always another why.  And there’s eight other reasons why.

~ Because my family loves me.  Because my dog is cute. Because my friends make me laugh.  Because there’s such good music and so much more I still need to see.  Because the world is beautiful and I still have places to see.  Because the world is beautiful and it’s dying and needs my help.  Because I’m getting better at art and singing and guitar and music in general.  Because my hair is pretty and I want it to stay around.  Because I’m not there yet, I’m no done.  Because I haven’t made enough books.  Because I having seen every Wes Anderson.  Because I’ve only gone to two concerts.  Because I haven’t kissed anyone yet.

~ I have a friend who was suicidal.  I remember how it felt to go to bed not knowing if she would wake up in the morning.  Someone close to a lot of my friends and I saw the pain and sadness it caused.  Even if I feel my life isn’t worth living anymore it’s not worth ending either.

~ Life matters, even if you’re the most liked or you feel like nobody around you cares.  From amazing people like Martin Luther King Jr and Robin Williams to some like Bin Ladin and Hitler lives matter.  The great heroes we have allow us to reach a goal to become better.  As well as those lives who remind us not to follow while we live with a goal and avoid certain depths.

~ My health,  Type 1 Diabetes, my family, my friends, the school that I am in, my house, soccer and lacrosse, my creativity, my education, my willingness to help others, the world around us, the food, my personality and my outlook on life.

~ I know my life matters because my friends rely on me.  I couldn’t imagine my life without my friends, so I wouldn’t want to make them have to experience life without theirs.

~ I still have to study and learn so much science and English and math and …  TEAM next year, Karli, my friends Jasmine, Philip, Rachel, Emma, Alise, my family Lucia, Mom, Dad, Nonno and Nonna, so many books left, an apartment.

~ I know my life matters because of the people around me who love me every day.  My friends are the people that make me laugh and s mile.  I have recently tried to push out all the negative people which has made me happier than ever before.  These people show and tell me they love me all the time.

~ My mom would be all alone.  My friends and family would be sad.  I would miss out on fun things.  I want to finish the stories I’m writing.  There is animae I need to finish.  My brother might retreat from society.  I have things to do.

~ I came here knowing no one, and I am leaving feeling like I know nearly everyone.  I have more friends than I ever could have asked for and I came here with none.  We’ve all had our ups and downs, but that has just brought us closer together.  I have a best friend.  That’s all I ever wanted in high school.

~ Because life is short anyways so there is no point in making is shorter and people (my dog) depend on me.  Also there are great things to live for (concerts, hanging out with friends, summer).

~ My family, my supportive friends, Jamaica, my music, the future, photography, film, adventure, romance, growing up, freedom, education, progression, responsibility.

~ Because I know my family loves me.  Because I can do art.  Because I have friends.  Because there are great things I can do and accomplish.

~ I have a family who loves and support me.  Jessie Cohen!  An empty stage waiting for me.  The future life for myself that I will discover soon enough.  My pup Toby.  Chocolate.  New York City.  The fact that every year I will make new friends.  Future vacations.  College!  I have friends who love me.  I know I’m gonna have so many experiences before the end of the year.  Every person who goes out of their way to make me smile.  Love.

~ I have a loving family that I would not want to put in any pain.  Because I want to do something with my life and see what I become.  Because I will be the first to go to college in the USA.  Because I have a rich past and culture I would not want to end for myself.

~ Because I know when I’m sad and want to give up that if I continue working hard then I am go to college and far away from the things I don’t like.  If I continue to work hard then I know I will be able to choose my own life.

~ Life is short and unimportant but because of recent scientific advancements I get to live twice as long as my great, great, great uncles and aunts.  And there’s a million things I haven’t done and I just can’t wait.

~ Family and friends.  ROCK.  Dancing.  My cat who cuddles with me.  Traveling.  Scoop ice cream.  Books.  Netflix.  Hiking.  Summer.  Christmas.  By best friend Emily Finch.  My sister.

~ Since I’m the youngest child in my family, my whole life everyone gave me whatever I wanted so I became mean and kind of greedy.  The problem with this is that I’m now aware of it, but I can’t do much to fix it because everyone in my family keeps treating me that way.  So when I go to school, instead of having to deal with more drama or sadness, Corina Klein always has a bright face and great attitude to life me up.  I realized this year that she is now one of my best friends and I strive to be her.  She is one of my 13 reasons why not.

~  Complements, signs of affection, good tests scores/grades, people smiling/in a good mood, my dog, my sister being home, organizing, shopping, people including me, successfully completing things, working out, birthdays, laughter, doing good for other people.

~ French toast, the lax life, a good omelet, the boys, Saturdays, Darius’s dog, Bobby, a crisp nectarine, table tennis.

~ Mom, dad, Jonah, Maia, Spazzy, Angel, Krista, Julie, cousins, friends, basketball, food, laughing, college, camp, memories, ROCK, music, the red Prius, growing up.

~ So there I was, sitting in my room on a Tuesday night, stressing out about everything.  School, basketball, girls, family…  I was going a little crazy, then suddenly, Oliva Blantz called me and made me feel a lot better.  I wrote out all my problems, and we came up with a solution together.  I’m really thankful for that. Olivia Blantz is my reason why not (and Phoebe).

~ Sleeping in Max’s car, ROCK, baseball, Mom, Dad, Owen, weekends, winter formal, getting Georgia Scott to be my friend, my mom’s cooking.

~ This year was hard for me.  I was getting very overwhelmed with school work and my grades were starting to decline very quickly and I was making myself sick.  One day when I came home my mom looked at my face, sat me down and made me tell her all about my day.  Having that sense of support definitely helped me.  Because of all the stress I was putting on myself I started to distance people and having someone want to hold on and keep me close helped me.  Talking with my mom is one of my reasons why not.

~ talking with my mom.  Sitting on my storage roof and looking out to the trees.  Taking a bike ride.  Reminding myself I can do this.  Hang out with my friends.  Writing out my feelings.  Going to the top of D hill and shouting my problems.  Talking to Marielle or any of my close friends.  Watch a motivational speech and connect to my issues.  Taking a shower.  Go pray with my dog.  Sleep.  Getting a hug from Julie.

~ Volleyball and my volleyball team.  The love and support of family and friends.  The enjoyment and happiness I find in school.  People smile at me when I walk by.  The happiness I feel when I wake up and go to sleep.  The light and opportunity I see in my future.  Fashion design and sewing.  The sun and the blue skies.  Random gestures from people that make my day.  My amazing teachers, in and out of school.  My dog and his unconditional love.  My innocent little cousins.

~ One of the main reasons besides my family and friends is to spread positivity and to benefit others lives and to bring other people happiness.  Knowing that I made someone smile or that I was just there for someone when they needed a friend is my reason why.

~ My family, learning things in school, being outside, loyal friends, people who make me feel important, love even though it is the hardest and most painful thing in the world.

~ Horses, family, friends, pets, learning.

~ my commitments – dance and surfing, my family, all of my friends, to be educated, to explore, travel, discover, adventures, wanting to know more, my eagerness, because I have routines, the people that love me, exercise, to relax and sleep…and wake up, to live and be calm and happy, my doggo.

~ I was pretty much alone for 2/3 of middle school.  I had gotten diagnosed with diabetes and I was quite sad at my school.   I would sit alone and give myself shots.  My peers would either ignore me or tell me that my diabetes made me less of a person.  After school every day I would go home and cry and feel bad for myself.  Then I would go to a yoga class with Clara Murphy.  Clara was my reason why not.

~ I believe that we are put here for some purpose or reason to do something.  I know my life matters because of my friends and family who love me and tell me that one day, some day, I will complete my dreams.  That’s why I plan on sticking around, so I can live to do all the wonderful things I see ahead of me in my future.

~ There is too much to see and experience.  Life is full of new opportunities and experience and I would never take those away.  There is still so much that I want to do and to see and to experience and I have no intention to take those away from myself.  My reason is that there is so much to see and I want to see it.

~ Family, friends, basketball – ball is life, chocolate, my dog, Christmas, onesies, Scoop ice cream, Sol food, school – ROCK, Gilmore girls, Sierra Cusick.

~ During the beginning of this year I felt unhappy and overwhelmed with the stress of the new hard school.  I would turn down opportunities to hand out with my friends and not enjoy myself.  The one person that talked to me and helped me to enjoy life more was my mama.  She asked me if I was ok because I seemed unhappy and was really there for me.  I love my mom.

~ There are so many people that would do everything and anything to help if they knew.  Talking to someone is really important and anyone’s life is worth o much, but anyone’s problems are never worth ending life.

~ Family, friends, teachers, resources, activities, school, food, traveling, experiences, sports, TV shows, Iona Normandi, animals.

~ I originally didn’t want to really write this, but here I go.  For the past two weeks there was one day in each week where I just felt down.  I would go into the day feeling good then around lunch, my motivation and productivity would significantly go down.  I don’t know why this happened, but by the second time I was already fed up with myself being like this so I told my sister.  She said I may be suffering anxiety or depression, but she’s neither a doctor nor a therapist. Just the thought of having any of those scared me to the point that had started crying.  Depression or anxiety is not something you choose to have.  If I do end up having it, I want to power through it because my family and friends have my back.

~ We are only given one life.  So I choose to live it even with all the love, pain, and sadness that comes with it because without those emotions we wouldn’t be human with all the (excuse my language) shitty life experiences our lives would be smooth sailing.  Life is supposed to be hard for everyone, you just need to know to keep moving forward.  I’ve suffered from depression but when I spoke to people about it they helped me and now I’m strong.  That is why I believe my life matters.

~ My family is my reason why now.  They are loving and caring and I could never leave them.  My future.  I really want to go to college and maybe sometime have a family.  Katherine Lam.  You’re a reason why not.  You listen and help me through the rough stuff.  You are always there for me.

~ There is an influential person in my life who I am lucky enough to see every Tuesday after school for movies, dinner and talks of every kind.  She wasn’t as fortunate as I am when she was my age.  She never had an angel figure to pull her out of sadness, help her feel her sadness, or comfort her when a life altering incident occurred that should have to happen to a girl.  I could not be grateful enough that when she then attempted suicide, it didn’t follow through and she pulled herself out of it, because she is my angel, and she is one of my reasons why not.

~ art, my future, my parents and friends, nature, writing about my feelings, travel and culture, plays, movies, entertainment, learning, growing and changing, books, stories, Grifo’s stories, my angel, my dog, moments of pure joy, making others happy, college, making new friends, the way birds chirp in the morning.

~ my family, my friends, where I live, my school/education, Marin Power Yoga, books, my teachers, my job, my dog, R.O.C.K., sushi, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., my opportunities

~ One time I was feeling down and a fellow ROCKer noticed and asked me after school about it and if she could help, even though she didn’t know me that well.  The people in Til Dawn are always so good at listening and making me feel better.  My family (obviously).  Music.

~ I have family and friends who care about me.  If I’m not there to loft Kristin in the jazz dance, she will not be lifted properly.  I have songs that must be written.  I love singing too loudly too much.  I love dancing too much.  I love my friends and family too much.  I love Barton’s Bagels.  I love ice cream from Scoop.  I love the fold and green hills of Marin.  I love Ian.  I have things to do, places to be, new sights to see.  I love Baba and dim sum.

~ One time I was terribly distraught and my friend wrote me a song.

~ My friends, my boyfriend, music, tasty food, dancing, singing, acting, rain, discovering things about myself and life, the first day of the year that you get to wear shorts, writing, learning new stuff, and finally, why not live?

~ When I was still riding at my barn up in Petaluma, I went to hang out with my horse.  Lately I had been feeling like no one cared about me and that nobody cared about my wellbeing.  So when I got to my barn I walked into my horses stall and sat in the corner and started crying, my horse came over, lied down and set her head next to me.  I told her everything and I felt loved.  Lola the horse is my reason why not.

~ If I died, people would be sad.

~ My crazy complicated roller coaster of a family.

~ The sun was going down as I sat in the water, waiting to catch a wave to go in for the night.  It was dusky and cold, the air a mixture of frigid pacific breeze and wood smoke coming from town.  I looked at the guy floating a few feet away.  “We’re pretty lucky, huh?” he said, taking in the view of the setting sun.  “Yeah, yeah we are,” I replied.  Nights like these are my reason why.

~ My brother and I have been distant these past few years because he is in middle school and I am in high school with our own social, academic and tweenie/teenie things.  But one night I forced him into reading our favorite children’s books and looking at old photos and we started remembering all the countless h ours we had spent together when we were little.  We had so many games and stories that wove us into best friends and as we huddled around these books and photos it felt so comforting and that we are still capable of making memories together.

~ Looking after my little sisters.  The love of my parents.  The funny moments I share with friends.  Acting/theatre.  My future family.  My dogs.  The texts and complements I randomly receive.  Birthday wishes.  Choir/singing.  Love/relationships.  Giggling at the saddest moments.  My teachers who care about me.  My heart skipping a beat when I’m happy or scared.

~ My twin (my other half).  The amazing feeling of performing a song perfectly.  Having music describe exactly how I feel.  I’m curious about the future.  My high school bucket list isn’t finished yet.  I don’t want others to wonder why or what they could have done differently.  Late night rant sessions with my mom.  Love is a great feeling I don’t want to sacrifice for never being upset again.  The tradeoff isn’t worth it.  I still have so many other people to meet/places to go.  Watching my dog bark at the TV (it’s really funny). My bed.  Traditions in my family that I love, like eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast on my birthday.  The feeling of winning a soccer game/scoring.

~ Music.  It is the driving force of my existence.  My mind is always humming with ideas and melodies.  To melt into the wonder and momentum of my favorite song yields more joy than any other muse.  To play music with your peers is like a spiritual awakening, suddenly there is no time and space, only the rhythm that’s grabbed you and wouldn’t let go.

~ I know my life matters because I have people who mean a lot to me and make me feel happy.  I can cope by myself when I’m not happy.  I have beautiful wonderful dogs that love me no matter what.  I have sports and activities I am good at and I work for.  I have a strong mind and opinions that I share.  My family laughs at most of my jokes.  I eat good food.  I have good health.  I have had amazing world experiences.

~ This part of my life I often find myself yearning, yearning for the perfect friendship, conversation, boyfriend and schedule.  My reason why not is the unseeable future, not because my yearning might be satisfied, but because I am able to rise every day and try and do something about it.  My reason why not is the beautiful series of events strung out before me that I can stroll, crawl and claw my way through, fighting my yearning and enjoying the now.

~ My ambition: I want to see what I can do with my life.  My friends in all y classes who joke with me.  All the people who laugh at my jokes.  My dog, duh.  My little sister, Naomi.  She looks up to me so much.  Why miss out on being say, 25 or 55?  I will never know unless I live it.  Drake MTB team: gives me ambition, purpose and I have new friends.  I have so many things I want to cook.  I want to see cities with my own eyes across the world.  People who smile when they see me.  Music and childhood nostalgia to new songs.  My Jewish grandmother, Yvonne.  What a baller.  My parents. They raised me good-like.

~ My amazing friends who always have my back.  My family, and dad, who love me and would do anything to help me.  Soccer, a distracting and amazing sport that always entertains me.  Mountain biking team.  Everybody’s so nice and accepting.  It’s impossible not to feel loved and accepted.  Getting high on life.  Sunset hikes with friends.  ROCK.  Grifo, because I could listen to stories all day long.  Because I’ve already gone through enough bad, so I’m making my life better.  And I’m not done living yet, and never will be.

~ Last summer, my best friend told me that she had thought about cutting her wrists and killing herself.  Immediately, I thought about what my life would be like if she did.  I realized that I wouldn’t have anyone to tell my secrets to, or someone that I could talk about anything with, I wouldn’t have a best friend.  After that night, I imagined if I was the one who was thinking about killing myself, my best friend wouldn’t have any of those things that I thought about either.  My reason why not is my best friend.

~ Loving family.  Mounting biking – plus the team.  Amazing friends.  Pool/beach days.  The feeling of not being stressed.  The feeling you get when sunlight shines on y our skin.  Feeling proud/accomplished.  Dogs.  Finding a new hobby.  Peacefulness (yoga, drawing). Good sleep.  People who actually care about your feelings. Just the feeling of being happy or having fun in general.  Knowing that somebody loves/will love you unconditionally.  Whether it be a parent, a friend or a significant other.  Really is one of the best feelings you can have, support and security.

~ Family, friends, long conversations, mountain biking, nature, views, driving, food, mountains, bikes, music, backpacking, photography.

~ I have a family.  My family cares about me.  I have friends.  I don’t get bullied.  I like doing things.  I don’t believe in life after death.  Existing is much more enjoy able than not existing.  Pizza.  I’m good at things.  The sentence “I know my life matters’ implies that your life needs a purpose to go on living.  It really doesn’t.  If my life isn’t necessarily affecting our society in any major way, should I want to die? No, of course not.  I think one reason is enough.

~ What I tend to do when I’m not feeling alright is what a lot of people do to a lot of conflicts in t heir life; ignore it.  I brush it away, pretending whatever it is is not important enough to spend time thinking about it.  However, this is a terrible habit. I learned that I needed to actually notice the problem.  Spend a good amount of time thinking about it.

~ Sometimes I have bad days and sometimes I just stay in my room.  It was hard to be at a school with new things and new people, and even though I’m almost done with a full year at this ‘new’ school sometimes I still feel new.  I was in my room finishing my math and my dad came in telling me something about how I’m on my phone too much then leaves.  I just stare at my wall for a while and then my older brother comes into my room and gives me a hug and I felt relieved.  Simon is my reason why.

~ In 7th grade I had a friend whose name will not be said.  She seemed like a happy person because she was always surrounded by friends and people that loved her.  She was always surrounded by friends and people that loved her.  She had many different friends, people that I barely knew.  One day I noticed that she had multiple cuts on her arms.  I asked one of her other friends about it and he said that she did it a lot.  I asked why he didn’t do anything about it and he told me that it was because he was afraid she would be mad and not talk to him ever again. We talked and I convinced him to come with me to talk to a counselor about it.  She got help and we did it anonymously.  She is not cutting anymore and she is happily continuing with life.  I am her reason why not.

~ My little sister.  She really looks up to me.  My parents.  They always have believed in me and always will.  The rest of my family.  What would I do without them?  My friends, a never ending wave of support.  My boyfriend. I want us to keep supporting each other.  My planet.  Everything I do to help it counts.  The video game and anime industry.  Gotta keep up.  My teachers.  They know some of my limits better than I do.  My gecko.  Alphonse – we depend on each other.  The world I haven’t seen yet.  The knowledge I haven’t gained yet.  My future. It’s promising.

~ Family, friends, sports.

~ The smell of pavement after rain.  The way my dog waits for me on my front step.  The way milk swirls into tea before stirring it.  My uncle’s earth-shaking laugh. Coming home on a not so great birthday to find flowers, balloons and a cake made by my amazing friends. My aunts gathered together over a pot of steaming pasta water.  This is what keeps us Italian women young.  My brother’s overly enthusiastic screaming at the giant’s game from our couch.  My family all singing wagon wheel every thanksgiving.  Tater tots – I don’t need to explain that one. All the places I haven’t seen.  Warm summer nights.  Watermelon.  Laughing at the bottom of the pool looking up.

~ In the beginning of the year, as a freshman, there was a presentation about suicide and harming yourself.  I found myself anxious and avoiding the people presenting.  At the end, they gave us a sheet full of questions.  One of the questions was “do you ever think about killing yourself.”  I can’t remember what I was thinking at the time, but I circled ‘yes.’  Few days passed, and I got a yellow slip.  I left and went to the counselling room.  There were a few chairs and some toys that I played with.  I felt sick to my stomach.  She kept asking me questions about my life, my family, my worries.  Before I knew it I was crying only 15 minutes into the conversation.  I realized how many feelings I had pent up inside of me.  She asked me “do you feel better after crying?” I said yes.  I did feel that relief, yet there was still the sick feeling inside my stomach.  I went to the counselor three more times.  Cried all three. The counselor gave me a letter that said that I would continue to come talk with her occasionally.  But for some reason, every time I thought of that room with the chairs I felt anxiety building up and I became on the verge of tears.  I hated that I would reveal my feelings so easily.  I did not want to come back to that room.  Long story short, the counselor did help me.  They helped me realize my own feelings.  I’m being surrounded by my friends and family who say that they love me.  I am in the midst of trying to accept all of it, but I have been feeling happy the past few months while doing so.

~ The Lord loves every single one of his children so much.  He is the most loving, kind, generous and magnificent of all.  He being good and the creator of all – all of his creation – including you – is amazing and wonderfully made.  He has an amazing plan and destiny for each and every one of us – we just need to seek Him and trust Him.  You can talk to Him, and give all of your worries and fears to Him.  When you seek Him, He will fill you with the greatest peace and joy – chasing out any sadness.  Then, everything in your life will come into line according to His great plan for you.  And you will realize that He is the one truth and light of the way.  He will be your heavenly father, protecting you from any darkness.

~ It could seriously impact lives of my family.  I already struggle with procrastination – no need to add on the ultimate form of procrastination.  All you are doing is putting off dealing with your problems forever.  I’ve yet to figure out how to break the game.  I’m not quitting til I break life.  The scientist who discovered graphene found it my messing around with tape and a bar of lead.  I could do that.  I don’t want to murder all those microbes that depend on my survival.

~ I originally didn’t want to really write this, but here I go.  For the past two weeks there was one day in each week where I just felt down.  I would go into the day feeling good then around lunch, my motivation and productivity would significantly go down.  I don’t know why this happened, but by the second time I was already fed up with myself being like this so I told my sister.  She said I may be suffering anxiety or depression, but she’s neither a doctor nor a therapist.  Just the thought of having any of those scared me to the point that I had started crying.  Depression or anxiety is not something you choose to have.  If I do end up having it, I want to power through it because my family and friends have my back.  It hasn’t happened this week yet – so far so good.

~ I have a friend who was suicidal.  I remember how it felt to go to bed not knowing if she would wake up in the morning.  Someone close to a lot of my friends and I saw the pain and sadness it caused.  Even if I feel my life isn’t worth living anymore, it’s not worth ending either.



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