Just wanted to let you know:
You will soon feel confident driving stick shift. It's not worth the exasperation right this second. And then, believe it or not, when you buy your first new car in the distant future, you'll actually choose a manual one. No, really! Ha! How cool is that?
Okay, and those friends you have now? 14.5 years from now, they will still be your friends. So, good job with that. You picked some winners. Keep hanging out with them, enjoying their company, and somehow staying out of serious trouble when you are in their presence. Well done! Good news: you will meet more equally solid-amazing people in the near future, and you can probably thank your current friends for teaching you what solid-amazing means.
Soooo, your parents. Be a little nicer to them, if you can manage it, aight? The world is bigger than you can imagine.
Is this the year you don't get all As in school? The year of your first B+? I'm glad you allow it to be liberating. Life is better imperfect, isn't it? Remember this later.
Which reminds me. You still listen to a lot of Billy Joel, huh? That's cool. Because it's shocking how often knowing all the lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire," comes in handy. For reals.