Writing Sample #3: What doesn’t kill us, make us stronger

Micaela Butler

Professor Rigsby & Professor Atwell-Vasey

English  306Q, Writing for Nursing

May 1, 2015

Writing sample #3

When I was 16 years old, my family lost our home, the home that I grew up in, the only home I had ever known.It was foreclosed. I never understood that until now, as an adult, what it really meant. It means you didn’t pay so the bank takes your home. However, when I was 16, I never understood that. My mom, my sister, and two younger brothers all moved into a homeless shelter. My Step-Dad didn’t live with us because he was too embarrassed and instead, he devoted himself to working. He was a truck driver. My older sister, who was 19 at the time, decided she would rather live with her friends than help us. I was, therefore, the oldest. I hated this shelter. Although we had our own “apartment”, there were only two rooms and no internet. As a 16 year old girl, all I wanted to do was text my boyfriend and Skype my friends. It wasn’t until one night that I woke up to use the bathroom when I heard my mom crying to herself in the living room, that I realized it was time for me to grow up in order to be an example for my siblings. I got my first job while we lived here and I tried to take the responsibility to help my mom in every way that I could from academically to mentally or emotionally.

A year later, we were evicted from this shelter since my mom was not finding work fast enough. This was a rule there: find a job and housing within a year or be evicted. My mom and three siblings moved in with my grandpa but since there was not enough space for me, I moved in with my aunt. This was during my junior year in high school. It was at this time that I realized how much I needed stability in my life and I convinced my mom to let me graduate a year early from high school. To this day, we still argue about intentions behind that: she’s convinced it was to be with my at the time boyfriend while I still don’t have it in me to tell her it was because she wasn’t there for me as a mom and I felt abandoned to the point where I felt like if I didn’t graduate high school, I didn’t know where I was going to live the next year. But that year, I took two AP English classes, AP AB calc, AP US History, physics, and earth science. I put all of that because I am constantly in amazement to the fact that I did that and I did that well. I graduated high school is three years, something most people could probably never do and I went to college. There were people who had all four years to do well and didn’t get into as good of a school but I did. I never realized how truly amazing that was until I became an adult and other people told me.

Last year, I got pregnant. And although most people would have probably dropped out of school because of it, I didn’t. Instead, I worked harder. Instead, I came to my first semester with a swollen belly and an appetite for success. Despite criticism, I did succeed in doing so well that I made dean’s list for the first time ever. I was a full-time student, and towards the end, I dealt with that and with being a mom. I had a newborn baby to care for but I didn’t let that stop me from exceeding academically. Did I mention I went into labor early and still took my finals? Yes, I did. I also faced discrimination at the hands of what should have been a mentor but I still came out on top. I did better than most people that I know without babies.

My hardships made me realize that life is anything but a cake walk but that perseverance in the face of adversity will make you, not break you . That although I faced more adversity at 16 than most do in their whole life, I still made it through. I made something of myself that could have easily caused me to not be successful at all.

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