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  • Writer's pictureCaylie Poola

An Ode to My Teenage Years

This is different than my normal style of blogging. And I promise, I'll be back to my regularly scheduled content next. So stay tuned.

My birthday is in about a week. I'm gonna be 20, if you can believe. it.

It seemed inappropriate to exit my beautiful, messy and memorable teenage years without somewhat of a recollection of it to go down in history or in this case, the Internet. The truth is, I could write about how my teen years were awkward, miserable and long, but for me, I loved (almost) every minute of it. I was never one of those kids who was desperate to graduate high school, or grow up. I was lucky enough to meet my best friends and have held on to them ever since.

So, here is my official fast forward teenage years recap. Mostly for myself, maybe for my mom, but here for you all to enjoy.


Of course had a big birthday bash, I have always been a big fan of my birthday (can you blame a girl?). Made a Facebook. Graduated middle school. Started high school. Met a new group of friends. Was super awkward around any boys (including the guy best friends I have today). Sat on the floor with all the other freshman during lunch. Took pictures in front of my high schools infamous "wall". Wore outfits that make me feel nauseous when I see pictures today. Got the nickname cayflips.


Started babysitting, was absolutely invested in my hometowns social scene, didn't like coffee yet. Continued to wear tragic outfits. Joined my high schools varsity gymnastics team. Started eating healthier. Found my true friend group. Became a sophomore in high school. Still had the nickname cayflips.


Of course, had another birthday party. My friends started to drive, I felt super cool about that. Went to Disney World with my best friend. Coached gymnastics. Spent most of my time with my self proclaimed girl squad, Lunch Ladies. Was the maid of honor in my first wedding. Treated each school dance like it was a royal event. Got even more invested in gymnastics. Went to a lot of concerts. Became a junior in high school. Still had the nickname cayflips


Went to get my permit on my birthday, forgot paperwork so I couldn't get it. Cried.

Eventually, got my permit. Went to drivers ed. Eventually got my license. Got a car. Went to a bunch of sweet 16's. Went to my first college "party". Went to my first prom. Went to several concerts. Traveled to Cape Town, South Africa for 3 weeks where I explored, volunteered and did cooler things then I probably will ever do again (like skydiving). Began college prep. Started my senior year of high school. Still had the best friends, ever. Still had the nickname cayflips.


My life revolved around being a senior, from spirit week to picnics to prom. To thinking I was the coolest person ever because I was a senior. Hosted homecoming pictures with about 40 other kids at my house. Spent almost every minute with my friend group. Literally.

Went to Belize. To date I am still in awe of that place.

Applied to college. Got waitlisted from my dream school (at the time). Cried more. Then, eventually, got in to my dream school. I refused to apply anywhere in CT. Had an over the top graduation party, duh.

Nannied. Graduated high school. Cried about graduating high school. Moved to North Carolina to attend Elon University. Still, kinda had the nickname cayflips.


Thought, maybe, college just wasn't for me. Spent my birthday in North Carolina. Sent myself some cupcakes. Learned a lot about friendships. Realized I had some great ones, and not so great ones. Realized how much I loved home.

Broke my knee over winter break while skiing. Lived home for a semester while I healed. Applied to transfer universities. Got into UConn. Committed to UConn. Decided to room with my best friend, Lauren. Nannied again. Started this blog. Tried sorority recruitment, *tried*. Made great new friends. Got to go to school with my best friend, Christina for the first time since middle school. Broke my ankle. Realized how much I loved to write, added journalism as a major. Joined some clubs. Became more confident. Laughed a lot. Occasionally, still had the nickname cayflips.


Lived in a dorm the size of a closet, loved it. Truly found myself loving college. Met new friends while still holding on to my old ones. Moved home because of a pandemic, thats a new one. Said goodbye to my dorm with Lauren. Signed a lease on an apartment. Lost our lab Ellie. Brought Charlotte, our lab puppy home. Nannied. Saw Dave Portnoy.

Really, really started to value my health and fitness.

Moved into my first apartment. Realized how expensive life is. Found college to be a lot different than it used to be. Joined a sorority. Was a bridesmaid. Started living with some of my best friends. Realized how excited I am about my future. Started taking more opportunities. Grew more into myself and who I want to be. Sometimes, and only sometimes, still had the nickname cayflips.

And lastly, I realized there is no way to sum up such impactful years of growth and change. This may be a teenage recap, but it doesn't even seem to cover half of it.

Maybe I'll try again when I turn 30.

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