To succeed in life, you need to run it yourself. You can't let others take control of it and you can't let them make decisions for you. Without making your own decisions are you even in control of anything? To fall under peer pressure is like giving up on yourself and giving up on what you believe in. The truth is it is easier to make the wrong decision and let others do things for you, but if you, "run your own life" you are making the right choice.

Every school in Cherry Hill talks about Red Ribbon Week and pretty much all of the kids know that smoking is bad and that doing drugs can hurt your body but, out of all the kids in Cherry Hill there are not that many that actually know how to stand up and say "no" to doing drugs. Most kids don't really want to do drugs. They do it anyway because their "friends" are doing it. They think they are cool, when they do something that is said to be popular. Really though they are just hurting themselves and people who care about them.

Running your own life means that you know how to say "no" and that you don't care if you are popular or not. You will always have friends if you can learn to be yourself and decide what is right and what is wrong without someone deciding for you. You need to know that there are other people that are going through the same thing you are and that you are not alone. You should always talk to someone if you have a problem. No matter how hard life gets you just need to keep on going.

Eighth grader Renee DiCicco lives in Cherry Hill.