• Student U

Leyla Ingram

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Hey guys! My name is Leyla Ingram and Im' 14 years old.

This is my story…

I was born in Durham, NC, weighing 2 lbs. and 4 oz. I was premature and kinda chubby. My dad was scared to hold me because he thought he was gonna drop me. Most of my gentes are from my mom, but I have my dad's eyes. My mom would always call them asain because my eyes remind her of this culture. I have an older sister, named Lourdes, (she is 4 years older than me) and a younger brother named Lester, which is also my dad's name. As I grew up I wasn't much of a talker. From the start, I didn't talk a lot. I didn't talk a lot as a toddler and I didn't talk much in elementary school. I'm wasn't much of a 'people person', so I didn't really get involved socially until I was older.

 I started off in a private school called First Presbyterian, then I went to Forest View for first grade. For second grade, I switched to Central Park and continued elementary school there. My sister went to Central Park and that is how I got in. Every year my school has a fundraiser called the, "Strawberry Festival". They have it every year, so that's how I got to know more people and make friends. When elementary school was done, Central Park opened a middle school down the street from the elementary school. I didn't like it because the building was small and cramped, because of all the new students coming for 6th grade, but I had to live with it because I had already applied to go.

  It was awkward when the school year finally started because everyone had known each other since elementary school and the new kids had to force themselves to make new friends. But about halfway through the school everything was back to normal and I started talking to more people and expanding my own friend group by becoming friends with new people, too.

I started Student U the summer before 7th grade. I made a lot of new friends and started being more social. I began getting invited to go out more, like going with my older cousin to the mall and parties. At one point, me and her didn’t really talk, but we eventually got close and hung out almost every weekend. When summer was over, I began packing because my mom was engaged and we were moving. When we moved, the school year was about a week in. I started to feel insecure about myself because I was noticing things differently than I did before. Everything around me felt like it was moving really fast. I began to not like my body because everyone would tease me about my weight. I was really skinny and started eating a lot more and trying workouts to gain weight. Nothing was working, so I just left it alone and I tried to ignore everyone's opinion. I ended up going through a really sad stage, for a long time, but my friends convinced me to do cheer with them when cheer season came around. I joined the cheer team and I also joined the step team and genuinely became happier because I was so focused on cheer that I didn't have time to pay attention to anything other than that and my school work.

  The most of 7th grade was good until about halfway through, when we had a school dance, and everyone was going with their 'lil boyfriends. I was talking to a boy I had known since the beginning of 6th grade, but we weren't dating, so we didn't go together, We still ended up hanging out at the dance, even though I was eating half of the time. Anyway, by the end of the dance everyone was tired, there was food on the floor, it was hot, and people's parents were pulling up. Before I left, I exchanged numbers and said goodbye to the boy I mentioned earlier. Me and three other friends ended up staying at my friend's house that night. Anyway, I ended up getting close with the boy and a few months after that he asked me out. I said, "Yes!"and we started dating, even though the school year was about to end.

  On the last day of 7th grade we wore pajamas, watched movies, and went outside. It was fun because most of the people were still going to the school for 8th grade. But, tears were shed for the people who weren't coming back and for the 8th grades who were going to high school.

A while later, Student U Summer Academy started. Everyone was happy to see each other. That summer mostly went by fast, but about halfway through me and my boyfriend broke up because we weren't able to see each other. Other than that, my favorite part about that summer was the three day camping trip. It was my first time going white water rafting and my first time hiking up a mountain.

After summer time ended it was time for school to start back and i was starting 8th grade everyone was getting to see their friends and their weren't a lot of new people so everyone mostly got along and kept the same groups,8th grade was fun but it went by quicker than any year did me and at least it felt like it. Me and my ex boyfriend ended up getting back together and dated for about four months then we broke up again over something du,mb but we stayed friends.

 In February, Student U Summer Academy 8th graders went to Washington, DC. We stayed 3 days and came back on a frida

y it was probably my favorite 8th grade memory because i got closer with a lot more people, a few months after that we had the strawberry festival and I performed for step it was fun, formal way around the corner and I wore a red dress with a gold zipper in the front, I went with my friends of course cause half of the boys arent aloud to go, then 8th grade went to carowinds then we had graduation, the day of graduation was really sad because we knew that it was our last year and we weren't coming back after that. Anyways graduation ended and the next day was our last day but i didn't go because I got my braces, I was so happy because I hated my teeth for so long because I had a really bad crowding in my smile. About two weeks after that student u started and i got into dsa for highschool.Once i go to dsa i wanna make more friends of course and get better as far as school work I hope to learn about stuff in the medical field because I want to that type of stuff when i get older.

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