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One of a Million

I grew up in a Christian home. It’s been a part of my life….all my life. Sunday morning and night are reserved for church. Wednesday nights are reserved for the Bible study and prayer meeting at church. Always pray before you eat or fall asleep. Whenever something good happens in your life it’s a blessing from God. When bad things happen, it’s ok; it’s just a test of faith from God. Everything that happens to you is part of God’s divine plan for your life. Ten percent of all the money you earn goes to God/the church you attend. (Known as tithing) These were things that have always been a part of my life; I never questioned them because it was just the way it had always been. At first church was only Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night; but soon Saturdays were added when I decided I wanted to join the bus route -> (At my church we pick up children and families that can’t come on their own. We do this every Sunday morning on a school bus with the name of our church across it. On Saturday we visit the people that ride the bus to see if they’re coming, and try to recruit more riders as well.) Next thing I knew I was spending my weekend at church. Which was fine, that was just the way life was.

I am going to be a junior in high school and have never been to a public school. I’ve only attended micro sized Christian private schools. The largest school I’ve been to consisted of about 15o students total. (Kinder-Twelfth grade) Morning pledges at school include the Christian flag and Bible as well as a word of prayer to start the day “right”. We have a Bible class first period in place of homeroom. The teachers talk about God and politics most of the day, if they’re not teaching. Obviously they’re all republicans. There’s a lot of pros and cons of going to a small Christian school. The main advantage for me is the curriculum. Our curriculum is much more advanced then public school, if you make A’s in all your classes you’re about two grades ahead compared to public school. This means that obviously the classes are harder, but I think it’s a good thing because you should be more prepared for college. Also, because of the lack of students, the teachers are more available and willing to help you when you need it. What I’m trying to say is that the classes are more individualized. (This can also be a bad thing if you’re not a dedicated student.) Honestly though, there a lot more negatives than positives. The credits you need to graduate and also to get into a good college aren’t usually available. I am an aspiring engineer, and in order for me to get the proper credits I need to pursue this career, I have to take a dual credit classes during my junior year and college classes next summer. On a more relatable side of the negatives, if you don’t like someone that goes there, tough luck; because it is impossible to avoid anybody. The rules are stricter, and you have to wear skirts and a uniform every day. Ya, right about now most of y’all girls are probably thinking, “I’ll shoot myself before I go to a school where you have to wear a skirt.” It only gets better……can you read my sarcasm? Most of the schools have a limited amount of sports available, if any. Honestly, I hadn’t been to a school with sports until my sophomore year. Another down side, if you open your mouth about any opinions you might have contradicting traditional Christian beliefs, well, just be ready for some cold stares and serious anti favoritism from your most of your teachers. If they don’t start marking up your tests, they’ll try to talk to you about “what made you come to that decision?” (AKA convince you you’re wrong and shove God down your throat an extra 30 minutes or so) Worst downside? There is a complete lack of guys! If you’re stupid enough to try to conjure up a relationship with one of the few, you’ll instantly regret it when you break up and have to see him every day. Not to mention his weird friends that are convinced you’re the devil incarnated. How awkward can it get at lunch? Enough to make you want to cry in a corner. If you happen to date the only cute one in the school, just go ahead and forget about ever talking to any of the girls again. If they don’t completely isolate you, they’ll just be overly nice to your face then pick you apart the minute you’re out of earshot. If you couldn’t tell, I’m not particularly a fan of private school.

So I am slowly forming a topic out of those two overly long paragraphs which are basically a list of complaints. (Sorry) My entire life has revolved around God. As a little girl, I assumed everyone’s life was the same because I wasn’t around kids outside of church or school. When I did slowly realize that my family’s way of life was unusual for most people in the 21st century, I didn’t really care. As you get older though in a traditional Baptist church, things change. People who used to be really nice to you suddenly expect the absolute worst from you. You’ll get weird looks from people when you sit” too close” to a boy you’ve known since 3rd grade, even though you’ve sat that way since the day you met. While you used to wear dresses above your knee at church, it’s suddenly a sin to step out of the house in a dress above your calves. The more piercings you have, the more help from God you need. To get a tattoo is to ask for a personal one way shouting match from your pastor about how big a sinner you are in the middle of church. One way meaning he shouts, and you listen attentively with a happy smile on your face. While he won’t say your name aloud, he doesn’t make it hard to guess exactly who he’s referring to and you can feel the disapproving glares at your back like laser beams. This is because ,for a reason I still have yet to comprehend, when you become a teenager adults automatically assume that your head revolves around drugs, sex, parties, beer, yourself, and horrible God forsaken music (rap or rock). They claim to know that this is true because “I was a teenager once too you know,” but a crucial detail they seem to always overlook,
They aren’t me.

While this all may be true of some teenagers or themselves, it isn’t who I am. The main problem is that once you are old enough to be called a teenager, you are no longer you. You’ve become a statistic. This is an issue that is especially true of churches, and completely infuriates me every time I think of it. I believe this is what made me snap. Once I began to realize that my pastor no longer gave me the benefit of doubt when he preached from the pulpit; but went on his rant of all the sins I was supposedly guilty of and then brush it off as being a “stupid teenager,” I snapped. When he consistently brought me down in every service because of my age, I lost respect for him. Though I am by no means perfect, I’ve never done drugs or drank beer in my life, and work hard in school to make sure my future is open to several opportunities. I’m a virgin. The fact that my age determines my behavior in their minds has made me so cold to the idea of God and religion, instead of bringing me closer to Him as they claim they are destined to do. I’m not sure how my 13th birthday made me such an undesirable human being, but I am tired of being stuck in the middle of millions. I am an individual, and I have an individual life and personality. While the experiences and challenges I will face in this life may be similar and relatable to others before me, our lives won’t ever be exactly the same. I am so utterly disgusted with being a statistic, one in a million, that I can only hope that I won’t do the same to others when I am old enough to forget that we are not one in a million; but rather one of the million.




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