In high school, I became aware of the school's literary magazine, Expressions. The funny thing is, my first piece published in that magazine was a photograph I took my sophomore year. This was back in the day when we still used film so I developed the film and printed the picture in the darkroom and everything.
My junior year, I took a creative writing class and produced a bunch of writing. I got a couple of poems published in Expressions that year.
My senior year, I was co-editor of the magazine and I had a few poems and a short story appear in it. I also gained a valuable learning experience. If I steal my characters from real life, I should probably make them unrecognizable. I didn't do that in this story. I was so accurate with these characters, that my friends all recognized them. And I endured a fair amount of ribbing because of it.
The upside: I was published and read . . . by many. Everyone's reaction? I suppose that was ultimately outside my control.