Who I Am

March 16, 2008
By Browning Vaughn, Culver, IN

Texan, teenager, sibling, daughter, friend, girlfriend, student- all words that describe who I am. Honest, caring, loving, persistent, faithful, courageous, humorous- all words that describe my character. Every one of these traits is a direct result of the people I grew up around as a child and the people I currently live with as a high school student.
I grew up in Dallas, Texas with devoted parents and a brother who was less than two years older than me. My parents, both coming from generations of Texans and both having lost their fathers at young ages, were very similar in their beliefs of raising children. “Always treat others as you would like to be treated” and “never forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’” were popular sayings in the Vaughn household. My mom and dad were always patient with our crying fits and monsters that hid under our beds at night. No matter the situation, neither one of my parents lost their composure. They stayed extremely persistent in teaching us proper manners and I believe that is why I am the mature and sincere person that I am today.
The Hockaday School is where I attended first through eighth grades. Consisting of around 1,000 girls, the school is known as one of the best private schools in Texas. The snotty girls that I dealt with for eight years taught me to not always care about what people think of me and not to worry about materialistic things. I saw many best friends get hurt because something better came along. That world showed me that I didn’t want to be anything like that. During that time of my life, not once did I have a boyfriend or boast about my family’s well-being. I became an independent person because of Hockaday and the lessons I learned at that school helped me to mature throughout my high school years.
Culver. So much to say about Culver. I heard about Culver, visited Culver, and even rode a horse at Culver before becoming a student. Part of my dad’s life revolved around this school so I had been exposed to it since a young age. Once my brother, Robert, had been accepted and enrolled for a year, I decided Culver was the place I wanted to spend my high school years. I specifically remember the graduation of 2002; I was a 7th grader, too young to apply to the school but so anxious to get here. While I watched the young women pass through the arch, I knew someday I would walk through that very arch and exchange handshakes with Dean Weaser. Finally, I am a senior and my time is approaching rapidly.
Before I skip to graduation, I would like to talk about the lessons Culver taught me and the characteristics it influenced upon me. First, I learned that typical teenagers drink, smoke, and swear. The world I came from sheltered me from those aspects of life. Being a boarder and living with people from around the world, I now see the realties of issues and pressure teenagers face. This may sound like a negative take on Culver; however, I believe it has helped me learn to not give into peer pressures and to make responsible decisions. At the same time, I experienced things at Culver that make me feel more like a normal eighteen year old. I also believe that I will go to college with a greater knowledge of my limits and I will not have the desire to do something because I have yet to. Second, I learned to obey the rules and always do my homework. At home I could usually get away with breaking the rules here and there. Culver definitely has a tight grip on every action we do. The close watch has persuaded me that it is easier to simply obey the rules. Homework, on the other hand, has always been an important necessity to me. Like I said, Hockaday is a prestigious school that taught me at the age of six to do my homework and to do it well. One thing Hockaday failed to focus on was time management. Culver taught me over my four years to manage my time wisely and I know that will be a key aspect of continuing on to college. Aside from teenage life and school, the most important part that Culver gave me is relationships. Not only have I become friends with so many incredible students, I have become friends with some teachers over my four years. After losing a class every year, I truly understand to cherish the people around me and the time I have with them. I met my best friends the first couple weeks of freshman year; two of them being my very own roommates. The five of us stuck together for four years and we created unbreakable bonds. Those girls will be people I keep in touch with throughout my life because they made my high school experience what it was. I also consider my boyfriend one of my best friends. He knows every detail of my personality, just like my five girl friends, and he has been one of the most important influences on my Culver career. Relationships can make or break a person’s experience and I was lucky enough to find people I trust and care about.
I know looking back in ten, twenty, fifty years I am going to remember two things: my teachers and my friends. Texan, teenager, sibling, daughter, friend, girlfriend, student, honest, caring, loving, persistent, faithful, courageous, humorous- these words explain Browning Vaughn as a literal person and as a personality. I am only that reality because of my best friends, my boyfriend, my parents, my brother, and my teachers. Culver taught me so much about myself but the relationships are what kept me at Culver for four years and are what will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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