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Drake, Ilana, NYC Girl


Ilana Drake
Age: 16, Grade: 11

School Name: High School Math Science & Engr At Ccny, New York, NY
Educator: Amara Thomas

Category: Personal Essay & Memoir

NYC Girl

     Get good grades. Do extra credit. If you’re sick, still go to school. A case of pneumonia, go to school. But what if I feel sick? Don’t eat snacks. Just drink water. You can’t get fat. Mom, I think I have an eating disorder. You don’t—you’re not underweight. Only eat salads, salads with no carbs. Don’t get bread at Sweetgreen—you don’t need the extra calories. But it’s whole wheat! Be more like Holly. Play a sport, work out, clean your closet. But I share it with my sister. Don’t buy pizza for lunch, you can only eat pizza from Whole Foods. Don’t wear this shirt—it’s too tight on you. Go to tutoring for math—you have to get an 800 on the math SAT. Oh, don’t forget to attend orchestra and do your homework two days in advance. And you can’t pull an all-nighter because you need your sleep: eight hours is recommended! Take an interest in the community, too. But don’t forget, school comes first so do well! But don’t forget to be happy!
     Go on diets. Do juice cleanses like your friends and keep going even if your stomach feels like it is going to explode. Who cares if you faint, seeing as you’re only taking in at most 300 calories? Study. Study every day. Why can’t you be more like your sister? You won’t get into Harvard. Oh, and you need to complete 200 hours of community service for school to get a sticker. A sticker? Go swimming, swim a few hundred laps, a lap being equivalent to seventy-one laps. Make sure you swim butterfly and not breaststroke—butterfly burns more calories. Make sure to complete summer applications. Can I have a break? You can’t eat that dessert—it’s more calories than you burned at SoulCycle. Just eat vegetables—spinach, lettuce, and maybe tomatoes. No potatoes or chickpeas—carbs are horrible for you!
     Take an interest in what you’re studying and make sure to take at least six AP courses! They must be so fun if they are taught at the college level. The only reason it’s an AP is because there’s a test at the end. Life is like apples and bananas. Each decision has an impact on you so make sure to do well everyday! You have a choice to always do your personal best or just show up and not try. But doesn’t showing up mean that I’m trying? College is so close now—your GPA matters! What’s the difference between a 99 and a 99.99? Life is too short to worry! Smile every day!      Try harder in school. Only a 96 on a test? Keep going. Keep balancing orchestra, school, tutoring, fellowships, babysitting, exercise, swimming, breathing, while not having panic attacks or being overweight. Your sister did it so it can’t be too hard. Oh, and while you’re at it, say yes to every opportunity that comes up. Take on more contests, competitions, and applications. Choose a major! Yes, choose a major for college. Decide what law school you want to go to. Med school? Business? You choose your path. Oh, and when you choose, keep going. Everything has to be perfect. But I’m only sixteen.