Teen's resolution — Show a little friendly appreciation

By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — The noise level in Hannah Keel’s basement one afternoon couldn’t have been higher if a heavy metal band had been playing full-bore.

Hannah, Annina Christensen and eight other teenage girls sat in a circle inside a tiny room. Christmas lights were strung about. Names and notes were scribbled on a wall with permanent marker in loopy handwriting.

The girls, all juniors at Metro High School in St. Louis, punctuated their word game with bursts of giggles and shouts.


They also talked about Annina and her resolution.

Recently, as part of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Healthy & Fit Resolution Challenge, Annina, 17, of St. Louis, revealed how she had resolved to let her friends know that she loved and appreciated them. She planned to do something nice — write a note, extend an invitation, give a hug — to one friend each week.

So far, so good.

"If I don’t have classes with her on a certain day," said Zoe Freedman, 16, "she will come and find me just to say something."

Hannah Keel, 17, said, "She texts me on Sunday nights."

My Chau, 17, said, "I get a lot more notes from her."

"Yeah, me too," added Katie Florence, 17.

Annina’s friends find her handwritten notes amusing.


Lucy Smith, 17, points outs how Annina puts doodles and sketches in them.

"And arrows," someone else says.

"Yeah, and highlighters are big," adds another friend.

They joke about how they love Annina despite her quirks.

Zoe says that Annina is "one of those people who knows a lot of random facts."

The day before this basement get-together, Annina wrote Delaney Moody, 17, a note with the question: "Would you rather have a conscience or a mind?"

Delaney says she thought this was wacky, but that’s just how Annina can be.

"No, really," Annina says, "I read about this surgery where they remove part of the brain and then you don’t have a personality anymore." She rattled on.


"See?" Zoe says. "This is one of those random facts I was talking about."

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