As a child, I was told many things from my parents, teachers, and even television
I was told how one must act, dress, work, and even think
Go to college, secure a job, raise a family, retire, die. That was life.
I hardly ever questioned these things, for I was raised around these norms
However, as I entered high school, I began to ponder;
Is that what everybody's life was like?
I began to encounter people who didn’t fit these “norms”.
Who didn’t go to college and were successful.
Who didn’t raise families but were still happy.
Who didn’t believe in retirement.
In these last three years of high school, I’ve learned one important thing:
Life is full of exceptions.
There is no one shoe that fits all. College is not the be all end all of one’s career.
Sure, a college graduate can become very successful,
But so can a drop-out.
A boy being raised in a poor neighborhood doesn’t mean he has to fall into gangs and gang violence.
He can grow up to be an influential person, give back to his community, and help stop the vicious cycle of poverty and violence he could have easily been swept into.
As I continue to think on things like these,
And open my eyes to the real world,
I cannot help but acknowledge that I am truly growing up.