The Airplane Game

December 6, 2011
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When we were younger and on vacation, my sisters and I often grew bored inside our hotel rooms, so we fashioned a game we dubbed “The Airplane Game”. The hotel bathtub was the airplane, magazine subscription cards were the money, and the beds were the duty free shops. My eldest sister was always the air hostess in charge of our departure, while my other sister and I were the ditzy passengers. The plane would be boarding yet we’d stop by the beds to purchase sweets, losing track of time whilst analysing the Skittles section. Just as the airplane was leaving, we’d make it to the bathroom. Unfortunately for us it would be racing down the tarmac as we’d be entering, leaving us with a foot outside the tub, assuring our death. By this time we’d all be breathless with laughter. This game never seemed to lose its power to entertain. Years went by and we outgrew “The Airplane Game”, but the misty memories remained.


As it often happens with time gone by, things changed. My father was presented with the opportunity to work in a foreign country and my sisters moved to boarding school and college. My family’s structure began to disintegrate, ultimately crumbling with my parent’s separation. For my freshman and sophomore year of high school I was consumed by my parent’s divorce. I became careless and unfocused, my academics took a backseat, and occupying my thoughts with diverting nonsense became a full-time job. I embodied the ditzy passenger unable to board the plane in an appropriate fashion, losing track of what was important through meaningless distractions.


This changed the summer following my sophomore year when I attended Pratt Institute’s Pre-College program. The experience allowed me to interact with people with personalities far different from the ones I was used to and unveiled a world of possibilities I never knew existed. Involving myself with diverse perspectives and backgrounds made me realize that I was not only well off, but what I deemed problems were merely difficulties I would eventually overcome. Sure my parents weren’t together and change was imminent, but it was something I needed, something that encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone.


I thereafter decided to strive in every aspect. I grew to not only enjoy my classes, but the process of learning. I joined clubs, continued playing the piano, and improved my French through three summers spent in France. I became more confident in my writing and ultimately had poetry published. Over the years I’ve come to the realization that “The Airplane Game” was much more than a way to pass the time; it now seems like a harbinger of the future. Carelessness breeds insecurity, especially when planning for the imminent. I may have taken off with a leg outside the plane, but these past two years have taught me that with effort and determination, I can always pull myself back in.





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