During my short lifetime I have experienced many different things. From happiness, to sadness, anger, hurt, excitement, every emotion possible. I have experienced different social structures from being the quiet one in the school, to being one of the more well known in school. I have experienced life, but I have seen death. I have learned that on the road to success there will be some bumps and bruises, but it is your decisions whether or not you will get through them. What you grow up in, or who you grow up with can either have a positive or negative effect on you. You can take life for granted and live with a bunch of “what ifs” go and accomplish all the goals you set out to do. My life story will hopefully be great. I will hopefully accomplish what I set out to do, I know somethings might not go my way, but I am going to give every effort possible to make sure my road goes smooth. All in all this brief 19 years I have been on this Earth happened, to be the most influential in my life and have really gotten me where I am today, that being a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
From a young age I have had my mind set on being somebody. Not just your average joe, or the person that drifts through life not accomplishing what they dreamed when they were a child. My culture and social structure around me really gave me that drive I needed to get to that stage in life where I could be someone, and make a difference in my community and in the peoples lives that supported me. My culture isn’t like most. I come from a culture in Highland Springs, that you don’t get out. Most people in Highland Springs would always stay in Highland Springs and not get out their comfort zone and work their whole lives away trying to do so. Well when I turned 15, this struck reality in me. I didn’t want to be like everyone else, I didn’t want to be the person my father was so instead of the culture I grew up in having a negative effect, it took a positive effect, it made me hungry for what the world had in store for me. Drugs, crime, skipping school, was a regular for kids my age and was really not looked down upon as much as it might be in other areas. It was the normal which is very sad that a city in the United States has that type of outlook on life. For me, I wanted to come to school because after school is where my real release came from reality and that was sports. Sports kept me out the streets, kept me from doing things I wasn’t suppose to, honestly sports might be the reason I am alive today because without them I wouldn’t even be in college. I used the culture I lived in to start my own culture my freshman year, and that was pursuing my dreams. Once I saw my friend beat up on the side of the street one night on my way home from school, with no help, no one around to care, I knew I would have to get out and be something. I knew I would need to get out and get my family out of that area and keep my future kids from leaving there.
Being said, my social structure benefited me, as I was around kids just like me. Most of the athletes at Highland Springs High School were looking for a way out. Most of us were poor, so we always had each other to talk to and rely on to be there. Those boys I played football and baseball with since I was a freshman helped make me the person I am today. I wanted to be great for not only myself, but for those guys. Most of them were putting in the effort just like I was because we all had dreams of getting away from our actual lives, getting away from what we dealt with. Our Friday nights consisted of going out and dominating opponents because we wanted it more, we wanted to show people that we were just a bunch of Highland Springs kids, we wanted to show them that we could beat them, show respect, and keep our heads held high. We all wanted to be on the all academic team as no one ever suspected 10 players from Highland Springs to be on the list. We all wanted to be great. Growing up in a minority community really helped give me different looks on things and being the only white kid on a majority black football team really opened up to me how schools like mine, and communities like mine were truly treated. We had such a bad reputation that police would be at games, police would question us outside of school. There was rarely a time that I would be hanging out with friends and at least one officer wouldn’t stop us and ask questions, and honestly they would never once look at me. I was usually the only white one and I never once got questioned or asked, and it really showed me the type of structure we lived in. The type of structure the police were set up around. I never believed in racial profiling until I experienced it with my own eyes! I experienced innocents guys being questioned for no reason. My social structure contributed in the fact that I really wanted to go somewhere and voice my opinion, voice what has happened in my life, and look, I am writing right now as an opportunity of wanting to make good grades and wanting to be great all because a group of guys pushed me and I pushed them and now most of us are in school trying to do something with our lives. This also helps me put in place the role of power in my life.
Power has been negative in my life as the wrong people have had it. Like I was talking about in my last paragraph, police in my area abuse their power over us. They make life more difficult than what it should be. I feel as if they tried to trap you in Highland Springs. Also, there was personal relationships were power caused a negative influence in my life. Some family I do not want to specify had very negative influences as they had a say so over a lot of things, and would also take from me. Their power over me continued my drive to one day get out of Highland Springs when I reached High School. I started using people’s power to turn it around on them, instead of being upset, I would take what they said or did and turn it into something positive, I would standout and be the person I knew I could be. I was taking small steps in high school to reach a bigger goal, the bigger goal of achieving my dream to escape the life I lived in and be the person I had always wanted to me. I was living as me, but I wanted to soon being living the I part of myself and be the person I always dreamed to be.
There are always downfalls in life. Deaths of family members, friends, situations that hurt your life, but which you have to bounce back and be great. My mom was pregnant when she was 15 with me, but still managed to be great. I look at her for motivation. She gave me the necessities in life, and that made me hungry for me. I didn’t want the minimal of everything forever. I wanted to make sure my kids never were nervous if they would not have a roof under their head. I want my kids to be able to live a fun childhood, I want to give my kids the childhood I never had. As I look back just a year ago, when I was in High School I realize that my life has already changed for the better. I realized that wow, I have already accomplished one goal and that was getting out of Highland Springs. I still have many goals I want to accomplish in life, but those 4 years in high school set me up for the bigger picture. They set me up for a bright future ahead as those years gave me the drive and motivation I needed. I thank all those who have helped me along the way in my life, and will never forget the family, friends, and teammates that got me to college today. When I look back at life one day, I will appreciate the not so lucky early years of my life. I will appreciate everything I didn’t have, thus appreciating everything I hope to have one day. Reaching my big step from high school, college, now I have a new big step to reach, and many small steps on my journey to accomplishing the life I want.