Little Piece of Me

As far back as I can remember my mother has always been telling me that I have three strikes against me. I am a female, I am Hispanic, and I am from the Bronx. Although it is not necessarily a crime for being all such things, it is surely enough to keep me from getting ahead. At least that's what I've been brought up to believe about this game I like to call life. There are rules, some of which aren't fair and hold you back from your true potential. There are guidelines, which are experiences and wisdom passed on from others. And of course there is the never-ending sensation of competition lingering within. My whole life has been a vast routine led by my parents, pushing me as hard as I could take it to be an ideal person all so I could succeed in life. So many times have I heard 'Sweetie, you want that nice car when you grow up? That big house? Well you've got to work at it, work harder then any other kid out there. You know why? Because you have three strikes against you, which is something all those other kid's don't have.' Can you imagine being 5 and having your mom pull you aside and tell you this on your first day of school? It can be pretty intimidating. Fortunately the intimidation would fade away as the same old lecture became more and more routine.

Every bad grade, un-hung shirt in the closet, shoe left by the door and unwashed dish in the sink resulted in the 'lecture' . It was kind of like a broken record, annoying at times but then you remember that you used to like the song it played. That song was something you thrived on for a while; it was a piece of you. But like all one hit wonders, another one usually comes along later down the line.

When it came time for me to apply to high school I wanted to go somewhere that was different from what I was used to. My two acceptances were Bard High School Early College and Lehman High School . Deciding to attend B.H.S.E.C had to have been one of the hardest decisions of my life. Do I go to a school that has everything I want, will challenge me, is miles from home and will probably make my grades drop? Or do I attend a school with no curriculum, 10 minutes from home, will not teach me anything whatsoever and I will without a doubt continue to get straight A's in? My final choice was obvious and up until this day I never regretted my decision. B.H.S.E.C took the place of my mothers lecture, shaping and motivating me in ways I never thought possible.

To be honest my middle school never prepared me enough to attend B.H.S.E.C. Every day I have pushed myself to stay afloat in this sea of over achievers and I'm proud that I have managed to do so. At B.H.S.E.C the lessons I have learned are in my eyes far more useful then calculus and biology. I learned how to open up and use my voice to share with people every single idea that runs through my mind. I learned how to develop these ideas and turn them into something tangible and more concrete that I could share with my peers and the world. Furthermore I learned how to work with and challenge my peers, whose ability to efficiently use their vast knowledge in a classroom setting was very foreign to me at first. When I was a freshman I used to want to stay in a little comfort zone where I was sure of myself and didn't take risks, but that's not me anymore. I look back on who I was 4 years ago and that person is unrecognizable. I've grown and look forward to a triumphant college career. B.H.S.E.C taught me to be my own person and to not worry about everyone else, just yourself. So yes, I may be a Hispanic female from the Bronx but I won't let that determine the life that lays ahead of me. Life is a game, and it's my turn now, the odds of striking out won't keep me from playing.





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