This I Believe

Erin - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in priorities. Let’s clarify, I believe in my own ability to create, organize, and stick to my priorities, at the same time managing my responsibilities as student, daughter, and teenager. Finding the time to be with people while holding on to my sanity junior year has been quite the struggle, and I have to admit, I was the one making it difficult.

In the summer time I attempted to take on a job to “save money,” truth being my iPod just broke, and my mother was nowhere near caving in. Now, in between vacations, babysitting, house-sitting, cat-sitting, and personal sittings, I was very relentless. Finally I bucked up and applied to a small coffee shop chain that charges five dollars for a five hundred calorie latte…you know the one. Not the best idea. At first things were great, great coworkers, great techniques to learn, and great customers, it was a teenager’s dream to be making eight dollars an hour to do something she actually enjoyed. This all changed once school started.

Here was my new life: seven college level classes, four that were actually difficult, and to top it off, work on the weekends…at five o’clock in the morning. I soon learned that I hated being the girl who woke up to wake everyone else up. My old regulars were replaced with Dallas’s least eligible soccer moms, their bratty kids, and their make-believe diets that were shot to hell with every pump of vanilla syrup they demanded. I also worked alone because my coworkers found me “able” to handle it…for eight hours. Once I got back home, naps were mandatory, and then school work, which I started around four in the evening, only to be halted at ten o’clock so I could wake up the next morning and continue the rigorous cycle.

My grades plummeted, my parents thought I was on some serious narcotics, I put off talking to friends and dying relatives, and lived in a world of my own for two months. I didn’t even have time to spend the money I had been earning, which I now see as groceries for my college years. Eventually, the bags under my eyes had created a mistaken identity between me and a bewildered raccoon, and I decided to quit. I was then able to breathe easy, knowing that I would never again be tempted to replace non-fat with whole milk, and I thus started my much needed focus on my studies.

My grades were raised, I finally spoke to my parents for more than a millisecond (and not about my nonexistent drug problem), and spent some time with my friends. The realization that I came across was I needed to sort out my priorities. Now things pan out like this: School, family, school work [at home], and reading the paper on Sundays, my greatest pleasure. I know I’ll have to work on that school sandwich, but I’m pretty happy with my priorities now.