Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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Most teens are faced at some pont with the tough decision about whether to tell a secret or not. A lot of teens keep the secret to a secret or gossip to their friends. The correct thing to do based on the situation is to tell someone that one trusts and that one knows will do the right thing. Some good choices would be parents, a counselor, or a teacher. Never keep a secret that could be a matter of life and death, such as drug use, eating disorders, and suicidal or murderous threats.

A few years ago one of my ex-friends told me that she was "so sick of life that I could just blow the whole school up and laughed about it." Natalie also stated that she was thinking of murdering our teacher. I didn't think that Natalie was like that, and I discouraged our friendship.

I recently heard that Natalie was put in a mental institution because she had told someone else about her plan to kill our teacher. That student made the right choice and told her mother, and her mom contracted authorities. It turned out that Natalie had her father's gun in her room to kill the teacher. When I found this out I was really disappointed with myself. I knew that I should have let someone know about her plan after she told me. That was an instance when an adult needed to know the situation.

Knowing when not to keep a secret is a serious situation that most teens face at some point. Many of my friends have confided in me with a secret that shouldn't have been repeated, for instance who they have a crush on. But that there are other kinds of secrets, like Sara's and Natalie's, where someone should be told. Sometimes it is hard to have the wisdom at a tender age to know the difference.