My Life | Teen Ink

My Life

November 27, 2009
By AshtonR26 SILVER, Vincennes, Indiana
AshtonR26 SILVER, Vincennes, Indiana
8 articles 44 photos 3 comments

My home life doesn’t suck. I don’t have a drunken mother, or an abusive father. My parents are still happily married after twenty-seven years and my older sister is steadily making her way through college in hopes of someday soon starting her own family and beginning a new branch of our family. In facing college essays I found myself a little bit lost. I do not have any courageous acts to speak of and I figured a stereotypical essay that hails my mother as my hero was far too overdone. Instead I have myself, and a blank word document screaming at me to write something that could be considered genius. My life is nothing short of normal. I’m simply a teenage girl who goes to boarding school and has a few dreams.
When I was a child, every chance an adult was given, they would sit me on their lap and tell me that I was different, that I had a rare combination of academic drive ¬and creativity that would take me far in life. They spoke with their hands, elaborately telling my large, interested blue eyes that I could do anything that I ever wanted to do in this world. This statement never came with a disclaimer, so I took it as literally as I possibly could. Every time a new family member would come into the picture and repeat the process my dreams grew larger. I went from dreaming about Beauty College to dreaming of a career as an astronaut who would make remarkable strides in space. I planned to be a pearl diver in my spare time. I had dreams of a pool filled with red Jello on the weekends and vanilla pudding on the weekdays. My husband was going to look like the fictional character of Hercules and I was going to own a house on every continent. Then I was integrated into the public school system.
I spent the first two years of my school career in a small, private, Christian school. I was allowed to talk as elaborately as I pleased about my future aspirations because everyone in my class did the same. I quickly realized that we all had been given the same speech as youngsters and we had all taken this speech far too literally. I kept my dreams though; I thought that if I couldn’t live them then I would write about them someday in a book. I came home from school one day and my mother informed my sister and I that we were moving during the summer and that her and my father had already bought land for our brand new house. Needless to say I didn’t take the news well and had some form of tantrum that coined me the nickname ‘bull dog’. I don’t recall having a tantrum, unfortunately though everyone else does and I had to live with the name ‘bull dog’ for many years. We still moved though, and I was introduced to the public school system.
Overall public school was uneventful for me. The big deal about public school when I was a child was that it was where I first learned about curse words. It was also the first time that I had ever had to ride a school bus; these two events coincidently enough coincided. Our school bus had orange seats. During the winter they were permanent icicles but in the summer they felt perfect as the bus drove down the country roads of my town. It was a stereotypical yellow bus, number seventeen. The bus driver though was very atypical. His name was Benny and he was eighty-one years old when I first stepped onto the bus in the first grade. He kept most of the children who rode his bus under control but every once in a while a curse word would slip from a disgruntled high school students’ lips and my innocent ears always perked up in wonder. After the first year of public school I was no longer naïve or sheltered. In the third grade I had friends who could curse better than any hip-hop musician whose music blared over the radio. By the time I hit middle school I was also well versed in many of the curse words. I never spoke one though; for some reason I could never allow the taste of their letters to enter my mouth. By the end of middle school I wanted out. My school career had already lasted far too long in my opinion and I felt that if I didn’t switch schools or get out of my town then I would internally combust and my mom would wake up one morning to find small particles of my former self scattered throughout my bedroom. Public school had succeeded in suffocating me. It had crushed my former childhood dreams but allowed me to gain more realistic dreams, which I guess in the end, was good.
I had been looking for a way out of my school for years. When I entered middle school I was completely bored of school and simply felt that it wasn’t necessary. But when I was ten my short, stubby fingers raced across the keyboard of my family computer in search of an escape from my school. I wanted out so badly that I took it upon myself to search for boarding schools in the realms of the World Wide Web. I had recently been engulfed in the “Harry Potter” universe and desperately awaited my letter from Hogwarts telling me that I had been accepted into their program. When this letter never came I decided to take it upon myself to search for boarding schools. I found a few and made a short list of schools that I was going to start applying to soon. I was ten though and my parents would never allow me to move away from home just because I had a skewed image of boarding school in my mind from reading too many books. When I reached high school I began to once again seriously consider going to a boarding school. At the high school that I attended I was getting perfect grades while sleeping through class. I was bored at school, and was quickly losing interest in the educational system. My answer to my problem was to apply to The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities when I was a sophomore. By some grace of God I was accepted and quickly enrolled. I was far too excited and had exceptionally high expectations.
I’ve been at the Academy for a year now. This school didn’t reach my expectations, but instead surpassed them. I wanted the school to be great and I wanted to be challenged. The Academy reinvigorated the idea of education in my mind. It gave me hope that I could follow my dreams. My dreams by this point have become a bit more realistic, one success that I gained from my integration into public school, but I’m still allowing myself to have dreams that seem nonsensical to everyone else yet make perfect sense to me. I want to be a world photographer, have an arsenal of languages that I can speak fluently and hopefully someday be heavily involved in a non-for profit organization, if not start my own. My dreams are different than those of my peers at the Academy, but that’s okay. My peers have dreams of medical miracles and of being astronaut’s one day, and all that I want to do is be an artist and hope that someday my art becomes meaningful and helpful to the world. If one person is helped through my art than my dreams will be fulfilled.
Throughout my life I have been considered to be normal. I’m a teenage girl. I eat macaroni and cheese out of a plastic microwavable cup and I wear my clothes tighter than my mother does, and sometimes I don’t pull myself out of bed until at least 10 o’clock on Saturday mornings. I’m normal, my life has been about as uneventful as it could be and I’m happy for it. I have a great home life, fantastic parents, and great friends. My life has not been full of heroic actions or tragedy and elaborating on small pains that have befallen on my family seemed frivolous and almost as though I was belittling everyone else’s pain just to glamorize my own. Life has been good to my family, and to me so how could I write an essay that claimed anything different?

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 4 2010 at 8:56 pm
87291082bz993842, Millstone Twp, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 15 comments
This is great! Wait, what do you me when you say you spoke with your hands?