What I Believe In

Sam - Mt. Morris, Illinois
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that teenagers can do hard things.

Teenagers like me do hard things every day, but it seems that society has assumed we can’t, and the problem is that some teenagers have given in and let that assumption of society stop them from doing hard things. My generation just gave up, and now we are actually living up to society’s image of us. I will admit, I fall and land in that category sometimes. There are plenty of teens who are like me; who don’t really go the extra mile. We could do and be more, and that would change the attitude that some people have about teenagers. We can do hard things.

One of the hard things I face every day in my life is living with my older brother, Andrew. Andrew has autism, which is a neurological disorder that affects his daily life, and the rest of my family. Because of Andrew’s limitations, I feel as if I carry an extra burden around the house which includes doing more chores, arranging my schedule around his, and taking care of my older brother when I feel like he should be taking care of me. He is also very obsessive compulsive and everything has to be done in his particular way. Living with someone with a disability is a hard thing that I deal with, but I prove it can be done every day. I try my best to be a good brother to Andrew, but sometimes my patience only goes so far. I am trying to improve upon that aspect of my life. On the days when Andrew is having a hard time and my parents are frustrated, I wish that life could be different. But it won’t be, and that is the hard thing I deal with.

Another hard thing experience was moving out to Illinois from Montana. I had to adjust to lots of changes in my life. School was hard, meeting new people was hard, and just life in general was hard. No one knew me, and I didn’t know anyone. I felt utterly alone. I finally had the courage to talk to people, and that got me started in my new life. I had friends, and my life was starting to work out. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Now, I have a great day every day.

Teenagers can do hard things. That is what I believe. I have done many hard things, like moving to a completely new state with brand new people, and trying to handle life with a brother with autism since the day I was born. Those are hard things. I believe that people my age can successfully accomplish anything they put their mind to, even if it is hard.