The Life of an Abstract Student

December 13, 2017
By emilynicole_22 GOLD, germantown hills, Illinois
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emilynicole_22 GOLD, Germantown Hills, Illinois
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Favorite Quote:
"Love isn't about what your brain tells you. Love is when you put someone else's needs before your own."

Who am I? That’s a question that I have asked myself since I was in about 4th grade. Technically, I am Emily M. I was born in Pennsylvania and was there until I was 6. When I was 7, my mom and stepdad moved us to Illinois. For 11 years, I lived in Germantown Hills, Illinois with my mom, sister, dog, and my stepdad. Now, I live in Metamora, Illinois with my boyfriend, his mom, his dad, his younger brother, his ferret, and his two dogs. I went to Germantown Hills Elementary School up until around 2007 when I moved up to the middle school. In middle school I was a brainy kid and an athlete. I was in service club, art, chorus, softball, and track. When eighth grade rolled around, I had quit art, chorus, and service club. I only did softball and track, but I was still really smart. I didn’t like school, but I was good at it. When it came to homework, it was one of the only things that I could control.
In life, I want to be able to be myself without being judged. I want to be the first person in my family to graduate high school and go off to college. I want to do something meaningful with the life I have been given. This year, my goal was to be a better version of myself. The past three years were not very fun for me. A lot of things went down and my grades suffered as well. This year, I wanted to be able to keep my grades up and balance school and work. However, it seems like the only thing that I’m struggling to do is keep my at home issues out of school and my school issues away from home.
I want to go off and become a developmental psychologist. I want to be able to help little kids who have gone through similar things to what I have gone through. I want to be able to use what I went through to help people and prevent them from going through all the struggles that I ended up going through because there was no one there to help me when I needed it. I don't want anyone else to feel like they are going through their tough times alone. I want this year to teach me that I need to be more patient when it comes to the wellbeing of those around me. I also want this year to teach me to manage my time a little better. I have always struggled with getting big projects done on time and papers turned in when they are due. This year, I hope to actually finish things when they need to be done and cherish my in-class time to work on a project. I hope to come out of this year being a better person overall with a better learning strategy and more motivation to get things done and turned in when they should be instead of turning them in two weeks after they were do and hoping for the best.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by relatives and loved ones who weren’t even relatives. They always tried to show me the way things should go, the difference between right and wrong, how to do certain things around the house, and much more. But as I grew up, slowly but surely I started losing those people who I grew so close to in the few years I had been on this earth. From early on, my mother always told me that when we lose someone we love, it’s because God needed them more than we did on the earth. To this day, I still don't believe that was true, because how could God want one of my loved ones more than I could? I never once thought that I would lose so many people I cared about and who changed my life so much in such a short period of time.
When I was 9, my three best friends ( who were also my cousins) were killed in a car accident on their way to a church function. It was a rainy Sunday in April when I got the phone call. At first, I thought I was just having another nightmare of losing my best friends (I have them a lot), but it turns out my thoughts were wrong. My aunt informed me that my three best friends had been t-boned on the highway right across from the church we all used to attend as a giant family. They hadn’t been speeding, and they hadn’t been under the influence of anything. A truck ran the red light and couldn’t stop fast enough to avoid hitting them. My two oldest cousins were killed on contact (their heads hit each other), but my youngest cousin was awake and alert the whole time. She ended up dying in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The creepy part of all of that? They are buried in the cemetery behind my dad’s house.
The biggest influence on who I am today is my mom. My mom and I may not always get along, but she is my superhero. Throughout my entire life and everything I have suffered through, my mom has (almost) always been there for me. When I was struggling with my suicidal tendencies and my depression in middle school, my mom held me through it all. She took me to all my therapy appointments, she paid for my antidepressants, she cheered me on when I couldn’t cheer for myself. When I came out and told her I liked girls and guys, she was super supportive of my choices as long as I was happy. She didn’t judge, she didn’t even bat an eye. She hugged me and told me she loved me. Even when I moved in with my boyfriend, she was still super supportive. To this day, my mom is still my biggest supporter. She’s been through literal hell and back, and all I can do is look up to her and hope that one day I end up as strong as she is.

The earliest things I remember are different from the things normal people remember. I don't remember my favorite tv show or my favorite movie. I can’t remember my first babysitter or anything else like that for that matter.
What I CAN remember are the numerous times I busted my head open in the house I grew up in. I can remember each situation, my reaction, my moms reaction, and my sister’s dad’s reaction. I remember each time it happened in super detail. The first time I busted my head open, I was about 2. I was swinging on the swings in our backyard, and my silky shorts did NOT provide reliable friction against the swing. Instead of staying on the swing, my butt slipped off the swing and my head dragged along the concrete under the swingset. It wasn’t anything more than a road rash on my head, but I still have a spot on the back of my head that the hair is shorter than the rest.
Another time I busted my head open I was about 4. I was climbing over my sister’s pack-n-play and I lost my grip. I went to catch myself but down I went, hitting my head on the corner of the counter. I remember running up to my mom and step dad's bathroom crying, holding my hand on my head. They took one look and suggested that I go to the hospital. Let me tell you; at the sound of hospital, I FREAKED OUT. I have never liked hospitals or doctors.
The most recent time I busted my head open, I was running around the pool. I know, I know, that’s like a number one rule. NO RUNNING! But I was excited for the diving board. Welp, I ran, I slipped off the diving board, and long story short, I hit my head. No one would let me sleep, even though I was super tired from being in the sun all day. I think that everyone thought that if I would've went to sleep, I wouldn’t have woken up the next morning. I know they all only kept me awake because they care about me, but to this day I still get salty because they wouldn’t let me sleep. 
There was this one time, I went running up the sidewalk to catch up with my uncle, and I ended up falling and busting my toes open. As a young child, I was very accident prone. Even to this day, I’m always getting hurt.

My earliest years of school were spent moving. I moved from school to school, and I think I went to a total of 5 or 6 schools. We were always moving, always on the run. When we finally stopped running, we were living in Illinois.
School wasn’t a fun thing for me. From the time I moved here in 2007, till now, a senior in highschool, I was bullied. I was bullied for being short, for having a weird accent, and for having the last name “Hopper”. People would make fun of me because my parents were divorced or for the fact I was different and weird. I still am made fun of for being different and weird, but now I just don't care.
Walking onto the bus my first  day of highschool was the most overwhelming thing I have ever experienced. I sat down and started to put my headphones in when I heard this laugh. It wasn’t a quiet laugh either. No. It was this loud, obnoxious laugh that just made you want to laugh and hit the person at the same time. It took me till homecoming freshman year to figure out whose laugh it was. It turned out to be my best friend’s. Bradley and I officially met through a mutual friend at homecoming that year. I kept messing up his straightened hair and stealing his fedora, and he kept stepping on my toes and making me laugh so hard I almost peed myself. We got to know each other that night, exchanged numbers and snapchats, and went on with our weekend. Monday came around and I got on the bus, greeted with the same laugh I had heard everyday for the past 3 weeks. I looked up only to find it was Bradley. So I walked back to the back of the bus and made some new friends.
But Bradley was never just a friend. No. I fell in love with him the minute he said “Hello”, as cliche and cringey as that is. Him and I dated off and on until December of our junior year when we cut things off and stopped talking altogether. It wasn’t until his birthday of 2017 that we started talking again, and it all started with a single text of me saying happy birthday. I never expected him to answer, seeing how he was with someone else and I had a girlfriend at the time, but he did. We talked all night and caught up on the things that we have missed in each others lives the past few months and it was like nothing ever went wrong. But then we got back to school and I started dating his best friend. Now THAT is the biggest mistake I have ever made.
Tyler wasn’t just Bradley’s buddy, he was my best friend of 11 years. We had always loved each other, so we decided to try dating. Well, we were together for almost 2 months before everything came crashing down. Mind you, this is the same guy I lost my v-card to. The someone I thought I would be with forever since I had lost Bradley. I was told I didn’t matter and that he never loved me. That he never wanted me to begin with and he kicked me out. Let’s just say we are no longer friends.
To make matters worse, my mom showed up on my last night at Tyler’s house with the cops to take me to the hospital. She wanted to have me locked up in the PSych ward in Springfield. I’ve always had a problem with suicidal tendencies and my bipolar depression, but never enough to be hospitalized for it. After that, the only person I really talked to was Bradley. After all, he understands me better than I understand my damn self. Getting back together with him is probably the best decision I have made this year. Do I hope him and I have a future together like we have talked about? Of course I do. But do I want him to be unhappy and miserable because he feels tied down? No. Because love is putting someone else’s needs before your own. It’s caring more about what makes them happy then what makes you happy. I don't know what’s going to happen from now until I graduate in a few weeks. Am I scared I’m going to lose Bradley? Kind of, because I’m stupid and always manage to screw up the one thing that makes me the happiest. The fact that we are graduating soon scares the living s*** out of me. I don't know where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do. Hell, I hardly know what I’m going to do a day in advance. I could end up with Bradley, or I could end up moving to Florida and going to school for writing. But knowing my luck, s*** won’t go exactly how I have them planned out in my head. Bradley and I could end up not working out, again, and cut each other off entirely. He could end up being gone for a long ass time because of something that was nobody else’s business. Or I could end up moving to Pennsylvania to take care of my dad, having to put my entire life and everything on pause.
2 weeks left in this hell-hole of a school. I have no idea if I’m even going to come back to walk at graduation or if I’m going to come back for prom. It all just feels like a waste of time. Why would the people who graduated early want to come back to the place they tried so hard to escape? The place where, yeah, memories were made. But at the same time, it was hell. The good memories don't always outweigh the bad, it’s usually the other way around.

Manheim, Pennsylvania. It’s literally just what it sounds like: your average, sketchy, tiny town. I was constantly going from Lititz, to Lancaster, to Manheim, and back again. For a while, there wasn’t any stability in my life. For a while, I lived with my mom and my grandma until my mom had enough money for us to live on our own.
I never really played games as a child, I never had time. I played t-ball for a team my mom coached, and I loved running. I remember running up and down the streets I grew up in with my cousins. We would play tag and hide-n-seek, and when we were done playing we would go eat ice cream with my uncle. I can’t even remember how many sleepovers my cousin and I used to have when we were little

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