This I Believe

Ariel - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Overcoming Obstacles

I believe people can overcome any obstacle in life to achieve their dreams. My parents taught me this.

When my parents were young, they did not seem like good role models. My dad’s parents divorced when he was five. He lived with his mom and rarely saw his dad. Maybe because of that my dad became a delinquent in many ways. His idea of a good time was drinking until he would pass out, experimenting with drugs, never going to school, and getting arrested. He was a bad influence on his friends and even vandalized property. Not surprisingly, he dropped out of high school at eighteen with a total of seven credits towards graduation.

My mom frequently skipped school; she thought grades were less important than what people thought of her. She sometimes drank with her friends and dated older guys. She also fought with her parents frequently. When she was fifteen she started dating my dad; six months later she was pregnant with me. At the ages of sixteen and nineteen, my mom and dad became parents.

Even though things looked bleak, this is when my parents started overcoming the obstacles from their past and working on achieving their dreams in the future. My dad gave up drugs and alcohol. He also earned his GED. He is now on the dean’s list at the University of Southern Indiana and is on his way to getting a degree in sociology. Even though statistics say my mom should not have graduated high school, she did and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in English and is now one semester away from getting her master’s degree. Plus, she is a successful freelance writer and has hopes of being a college professor. My parents also beat other odds, too. Unlike most teenage parents they got married and have stayed married for the last fourteen years.

All of their efforts have shown me that even when odds are stacked against me, I should still try. No one can tell me I can not achieve my dreams because I can succeed if I work hard like my parents did. They might not have seemed like they would become good role models or parents, but they have gone against the odds and taught me my strongest held belief is that people can overcome any obstacle in their lives, even themselves.