The Perfect Student

Izzy Sellers, Grade 9

She lived to please 


The smile from her teachers 

When they said her work 

Was good made her heart 



Because the work, the 

Smarts, was all she had 


She never really noticed  

When it started to get bad 


Pulling all nighters to get it 

Perfect because otherwise 

It wouldn't be worthy  

Enough to submit 


Then she joined sports and 

Said it was because she 

Wanted to stay fit 


She couldn't say the honest 

Truth; that she wanted the  

Body all those other girls 

Seem to have 


It was when she heard a  

Giggle at lunch that she realized 

She couldn't remember 

When she had last laughed 


There were bags under her 

Eyes and a black cloud  

Permanently situated over  

Her head 


But her grades were still  

Perfect, and that is all that 

Mattered, even if she 

Didn’t get to live 


A year later, she slowly  

Started to give in to the  

Tiredness her brain 



And she realized she  

Eventually became less 



The A's became B's and she 

Was okay with that 


Because the dark cloud  

Lifted, her smile became  

Wider, and she spent more  

Time on herself 


She started reading more 

And did more of the things 

She adored 


She ignored the teams 

Messages and finally 

Realized she had just 

Needed to restore 

The little girl who didn't 

Care so much 


And who was carefree and 

Happy and wasn't afraid of 


Social Pressures

Simone Daniels

The Perfect Student 2

Izzy Sellers, Grade 9

How can I explain I no longer 

Feel the joy from  

Getting an A on a test? 


Because from a young age  

Society told me I should 

Always strive for the best 


And I tried so hard, 

Sometimes it felt like I was 



There would be an ache in 

My heart and my head 

Would always pound 


This summer I was 

Introduced to a whole new 



One outside of a room with  

Four walls filled with desks 

And a Samsung tv 


I saw bright blue oceans, 

Colorful meadows, and 

Other sights I had never 

Seen on a screen 


I realized then, that I didn't 

Want this life where I would 

Be worked to death like a  



I desired to live, and to 

Breathe the air-- not this 

Polluted air of the city I live 

In, but the one of a place far  

Away where no one would  

Know my name. 


I understand now that this 

World of capitalism only 

Blocks me from my full 

Potential and it is all just a  



To the top of the top, those 

Behind the scenes, the 

Faces we will never see 


I have to accept it, because 

Really there's nothing else I 

Can do, but oh, how I long to be free 


1 ~Editor's Note~2The Dragon's Toe3George's 4Exotic Flavor5Paper Cutter 6Masked , Big Fish , A Plant , and Pass, Hit, Set 7The Stories of Colors 8The Lightning Monster9The Rainy Life of the Weather Named Stormy 10Tables, Reflection , Arachnid , and Distant Forest 11Discovery 12Etched Blossoms , Owl, City Scape , and Puppy 13Superior Species 14Those Butterfly Wings , Converse , Tunnel Vison, and A Cloud 15A Sea of Red 16Nebula Metro17Life of a Diary 18Flowers , Swan , Waves , and Grass 19The Dragon's Tooth 20The Girl in a Dress 21Burning Out , Blue Dot , A Southern Feminist's Manifesto , and Silhouette 22The Fire Kindling: Chapter 1 23The Perfect Student , Social Pressures , and The Perfect Student 2 24Patina Nightmare25Eventide26Creative Shutdown, Eye's Through A Looking Glass , Head on Collision , and Writer's Block 27The Road to the Championship 28Reconnecting With Nature , Eos , you were a summer thunderstorm , and Reconnecting With Self 29Senior Spotlight: Ava Muller, Photography, The Landing , Tranquil , One-eyed Flyer , Grief , Dreamer , Fractured , Breakin', Lost Lives , and Lilypads 30Senior Spotlight: Maggie Huffman, Digital Illustration , Nice to Meet You!, Exploration of "Circe", Surfs Up! , The Return of Morales , Companionship , Mandalorian , Ambush , Just Hangin', and The High Priestess 31Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry , Don't, Muse, Being a Boy , In Search of a Cosmos, Overstimulation , Wheels , and Final Moments32Playing Time Struggles, Head in the Game , Sky High , and Moment of Glory 33Pollination , Azure Afternoon , Creator of Color, and Elegant Emu 34One , Fido , Heart Handles , and Early Birds35Dedication: Katherine Berdy