This I Believe

Priyanka - Plano, Texas
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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Changing with the Times

I guess you could say it was the beginning of the end in many ways. I know it would be cliché to say that high school was a traumatic time for a teenager, but one mustn’t lie. Shepton High School was different from anything I was used to. The previous years before were filled with a sense of guidance, security, and warmth. Now, the years were spent filled with a sense of fear, solitude, and confusion. The previous years were filled with late-night chatting, online giggling, and early-morning refreshing showers. Now, my time was spent with late-night reading, online researching, and early-morning studying. My mood slowly changed from optimistic and benevolent to pessimistic and malevolent. Not only was my personal atmosphere different, but all my siblings were slowly dispersing into different parts of the country to embark on that journey known as “college-life.” With the closest things I had to sanity slowly slipping from my grasp, it would have been correct to say that times were changing. My philosophy, at one point, had always been to work hard and have fun while doing it. However, times were changing. The pressure was on from my parents to live up to their expectations and to reach their goals. What about me? What about my expectations? What about my goals? It seemed as if they meant nothing. It was either do it right or don’t bother doing it at all and suffer the consequences.

I began to notice that the number of friends I had slowly began to decrease. My friends realized that I was way too involved in my schoolwork to focus on anything else. True friends turned into acquaintances. Engaging teachers of mine turned into a burden, for it was as if every minute spent with them, was an eternity to me. My usually wide-eyed and big mouthed grin turned to droopy-eyed and pursed lips. Monday, September 10th, I had a sudden epiphany. It had occurred to me that all that mattered in the end was what I cared about. My parents couldn’t force me to comply with their every whim. Those many days of all-nighters were not worth my many gray hairs and late-night binges which eventually proved detrimental to my health. Now, all I know is everything is going to be alright. I can persevere with or without the support of others. The only person whom I must compete with is myself. That, in itself, could not change.