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Photo ofCharlotte Andrews

I have played hockey for the greater part of my life, starting when I was seven. In 5th grade in Washington, DC, I played hockey for a team I didn’t really like. The rink was five minutes away from our house. Near to the rink and my house was this school called Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic school. Most of the girls on the team went there, and they weren’t out wardly mean, but they were passively just not that nice. I just didn’t really like them. One girl, Caroline, made everyone into her minions. One time my dad, who was one of the coaches, benched her because she was not listening. She was really mad, and because I didn’t want her to be mad at me, I sided with her. I was convinced that Caroline and her minions didn’t like me. In 6th grade, I thought, “Ya know, if I hate this so much, I should just quit.” So I did. I took a year off from hockey, which was kind of sad but it was ok because I didn’t really like the team. I wanted to take up speed skating but that never happened. My school went to 6th grade so I graduated, and while everyone else in my class was stressing about interviews, essays, SSAT and ISEE scores, I relaxed because I knew I was moving to Idaho where the stakes were much lower than DC. Graduation in June was sad because it was the last time I saw a lot of my friends whom I had known since kindergarten. I still miss them, but we don’t really talk much. To this day two years later, I still think about people from DC. I was both very sad and happy to move. There were lots of reasons I wanted to move, but also a few very big reasons I wanted to stay. For example, I wanted to stay because most of the little family we have left lives there. And all the people, like neighbors and friends, who we have made our honorary family, live there. On the other hand, I knew that the general life would be much better in Idaho. I would be able to spend more time outside, skiing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, bike riding, swimming, backpacking. Now, having lived here for two years, I think about what I would be doing if I was still in DC, and to be honest, I am glad I live here. I moved to Idaho a couple of weeks after 5th grade graduation. My mom, sister, and I moved on the 21st of June, and my dad came out a week later. Once I got here, I did a hockey camp, and I met a lot of my current team- mates, including my current best friend, Maeve. I also met Charlotte, and we discovered that we are name and birthday twins. This gave me some hope because these people actually wanted to be in Idaho and are good at hockey, are nice and don’t all go to the same school. In the fall, I started 7th grade and joined the Suns hockey team. My team- mates actually tried hard, and we did well. On my old team, we lost every single game I attended, and I missed the only two games we won. I was convinced I was bad luck. On my current team, my local high school team, I have lots of fun AND we win! Not only that, I now get to play on another select team that plays out of state against select teams from other states. While I miss some friends, and one restaurant, Cava, in DC, hockey is a good representation of how much I like living in Idaho, and how much better things feel.

© Charlotte Andrews. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.