The Caged Wonder

At first glance, yes, I am quite ordinary. Never have I written a New York Times best selling novel, nor have I visited the wet tropical rainforests of the Amazons and discovered an important botanical element for scientific study. As much as I would like to learn about radiochemistry, I probably never will and chances are I am never going to win the Florida lottery. However, I can proudly say that I am going to be successful.

Ever since the age of three I had gone to a pristine private school. My agenda was composed of the most exhilarting, mindbottling events that a teenager could experience in his short time as a youthful free spirit. I would wake up, spend seven extraordinary hours at school, get home, go to bed and wake up the next day to experience the lively escapade all over again. That's not all. I also take the first place trophy for the most convivial and engaging Friday. I can see it now. The contender for the most amazing Friday night goes to... Movie-night with the parents! Consequently, it was mentioned to me a plethora of times by my acquaintances that I had lived a life of confinement. My favorite comment included the misconception that I had it worst off than that 'bubble boy'. Was I really worst off than some guy who had suffered from a severe combined immunoficiency disease? Maybe so.

Always that weird girl or that loner, I was often labeled as socially inept or more simply put, friendless. Although I do admit to my quiescent nature, I knew there was more for me than this world of 'just getting by'. The death of my grandmother due to lung cancer left much financial burden on my family and I. Yet, this unfortunate series of events can be viewed as a play on fate by my dear friend serendipity. No longer was I able to attend my high school which I had been attending for 10 years, nor was I to be confined in that indestructable bubble composed of carbon-copied identities and dependency on others in everything I would do.

No longer able to recieve care from my grandmother, my twin sister and I were subject to spend our summers since the age of 13 volunteering at Mercy Hospital where my mother would painstakingly work seven days a week to simply give us the best life we could possibly have. As part of the volunteer program, I have been assigned to several different departments. With the new skills I acquired through contact with the patients, I was able to assist them and further help them engage into physical activity. That first gracious thank you I recieved made me overlook that wallflower persona I had so long attributed to myself. Through my hard work and long coffee breaks, I was able to receive knowledge of the workplace as well as insight into many different career options, which has made the choice I want to pursue clearer. Being a MERCY Hospital volunteer has taught me to become more independent, responsible, and dedicated, all skills which are important in any career. Likewise, I was auspicious enough to work with others, which helped my communication skills--something i desperately needed and very essential in the journalism field.

So maybe I haven't become an astronaut or the next American Idol. But whose to say I won't make an excellent contribution to the University of Florida?





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