by Sinead McGonagle
Being a freshman without a driver’s license can result in a limited amount of freedom, but who wants to be stuck at home with their parents? STA freshmen Olivia Bellatin and Meghan Ehrnman sure don’t! So these teens walk around Waldo. Up hills, down stairs, across streets and all along side fellow freshmen Sam Scovell, Nathan Hill, Joey Cantrell, Fallon Mitchell and Sean O’Toole. Ready to go wherever their feet decide to take them.
“We only walk around to have something to do,” said Ehrnman.
“It’s a great way to just talk without your parents breathing down your neck.” “You don’t have to be a certain place,” comments Bellatin.
Megan, Olivia and Sam lead the group while Nathan and Fallon fall behind. Stuck in their own little world of iPhones and fatbooth (an iPhone app that allows you to see yourself heavier), giggling and flirting the whole time.
“Where are we going again?”
“I don’t know. We should go to QuikTrip!”
The journey to QuikTrip brought about new discoveries. Such as, you can mix Fanta with a slushy for the ultimate sugar high, and lollipops are curiously under-priced these days.
“You’re getting SIX tootsie-pops?!”
“Yeah, they’re only fifteen cents.”
“No way! Where?”
Weighed down with arms full of candy, the teens made their way back towards the Waldo neighborhoods. As if his candy craving wasn’t already satisfied, Sam checked the neighborhood’s Easter decorations for overlooked sweets.
Though scarce, a certain level of maturity was present, until a swing was spotted and everyone’s inner toddler revealed itself .
There it was, a sturdy strip of wood attached to two flimsy pieces of white rope, hanging off of a big Oak tree. It was gently swaying in the breeze to the tune of “catch me if you can!” Rockhurst freshman Sam Scovell and Shawnee Mission East freshman Sean O’Toole made eye contact, and sprinted. It was war. Sean turned into a human bulldozer constantly trying to plow Sam off of the swing while Sam clung tightly, his 5’3 frame wound around the swing protectively. Sam teasingly stuck his tongue out, provoking Sean even more. Sam somehow stayed attached to the swing despite Sean’s efforts, and eventually Sean walked away from the battle looking for a basketball to shoot some hoops.
“I think Sam won because he somehow stayed on the swing even though he’s so small,” said Ehrnman.
Empty 16 oz QuikTrip cups in hand, the tired teenagers sat down in the middle of the street to talk and rest their sore legs. Conversation topics ranged from a heated gay marriage debate to Disney movies, constantly being interrupted to move for passing cars.
“It’s not smart [to sit in the middle of the street] but I think we do it to feel rebellious,” said Scovell.
Around 11:30 p.m. people are pulling their cell phones out of their pockets and carpools are being arranged. Soon, Moms in mini-vans are arriving to pick up their somewhat independent teenagers before curfew.
“I can’t wait to drive because once we can drive we won’t need to walk anymore,” said Bellatin. “Then we can drive around instead!”
“It was a fun night,” said Ehrnman. “We didn’t do anything illegal, except maybe jaywalking, but it was still fun.”
After arriving home Bellatin and Ehrnman reflect on the day’s activities. What they thought was going to be a boring waste of time turned into an entertaining night of bonding.
“Teenagers have more imagination than we give them credit for,” said Bellatin. “Who else could make an adventure out of walking?”