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Ever since they were kids, Julie and Max had been best friends. They went to kindergarten together. They went to summer camp together, They hung out together every weekend. But suddenly, things between the two had started to change.
Max had started playing on the football team and didn’t have much time for Julie anymore. He was always busy, and he never seemed to make it to study hall, where the two used to swap stories about their favorite (or least favorite) teachers. In class, Julie noticed that Max never seemed to have his homework done on time anymore. She even noticed that he got a D on his last paper. She knew something was going on with him – but what?
At first, Julie decided to play it cool and see how things went. She tried waiting in the hall for Max after class to see if she could ask if he was OK. But days went by, and he never had time to stop. He’d rush right past her in the hall, only to leave her feeling even worse about what was happening between them.
Even though she wasn’t sure she could handle the situation herself, Julie didn’t want to talk to her parents because she was afraid they would tell her not to hang out with Max anymore. She barely saw him as it was, so she knew it would just make things worse if her parents didn’t approve of him. She didn’t want to tell Max’s parents either because she didn’t want him to get in trouble. Still, it seemed like something needed to change.
Julie decided to go to one of her school counselors and let her know she was concerned. When she walked into Mrs. Smith’s room, she was surprised to see that Max was already sitting there.
“I’m sorry, I’ll come back,” Julie said.
“No, stay,” said Max. “Maybe you can help.”
Julie was surprised to find that Max had visited the counselor’s office for the same reason she had: he was starting to feel overwhelmed with all of the things he was supposed to be doing as a student, an athlete and a friend. He needed some guidance on how to determine what truly mattered, and how to divide his time between all of the things that were important to him.
When she realized that Max was still the same old Max (just a little more stressed), Julie was relieved. She was also happy to know that he had come to the conclusion on his own, without her having to talk to someone else about it. She decided it was a sign they were both growing up.
Why is it important that the last scene of the story is set in the counselor's office?
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