This I Believe

Britney - Palmdale, California
Entered on November 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Not Another Statistic

I believe that people are not statistics. I believe that I am not a statistic.

When people look at me all they see is another statistic, they see that I am pregnant and then begin to look away from who I am and towards what I am, towards my age, towards my skin color. It doesn’t matter that I play tennis, it doesn’t matter that I scored nearly perfect on the high school exit exam, it doesn’t matter that my standardized test scores have been well above average every year, it doesn’t matter that I love to write, or that I’ve taken honors and advanced placement classes all throughout high school. All that matters is that I’m 17, African-American, and pregnant, that I live in a small apartment in a bad neighborhood. As far as society is concerned I am just another statistic.

Well, the one thing in life that I refuse to be is a statistic. So, I’ve made some bad choices, and maybe I’ve gotten into some trouble here and there but I have yet to become a statistic. I have mealy been a teenager for the past four years. I’ve been in the “in-crowd” and have done everything it takes the get and stay there, which means I’ve worn the clothes, went to the parties, dated the popular boys, had the sex, even tried the drugs and the alcohol. All this to be cool, all this just to be known. In the end I came out broken and scarred, with few good times I can really call good, and a pregnancy. So, I guess, now I’m a statistic, right.

My experiences, especially the pregnancy, have, above all else, placed me further away from being a statistic than ever. I have focused my life on proving that I can overcome my past and do something productive with my life. I don’t want the world to look at me and think that I have wasted my life. I am a college bound senior with hopes of becoming a lawyer, statistically , that’s not possible, given my current situation. But I don’t believe in statistics. I believe that every obstacle in my life is meant to make me stronger, it just depends on wether I choose to overcome the obstacle or let it overcome me. Being pregnant is not a road block, it’s simply a speed bump, to be driven over cautiously. I will succeed in life because I believe that I can. I hope that one day the world will view statistics as actions and choices and not as people and that individual people will view statistics as the numbers they really are, not as a mold that they might as well just fit into. I choose to believe that I am not another statistic, that I will not be another statistic and I hope that others will begin to do the same.