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As a sophomore, Danielle found herself entranced by a cadre of older students: neither bright Christian Athletes nor defiant flannel survivalists, but kids who laughed and did what they wanted and kept the bullshit at bay.

Startlingly, they noticed. Danielle found herself anointed a member of Forster’s aristocracy. She didn’t undergo some metamorphosis, but she learned from their kindness, and grew.

Now she’s a senior (oh, so much older) and, contemplating an interesting sophomore, she wonders at their surety. Was it real? Will she ever find her own? Or is growing up just a chase for your betters that never ends?