Honestly, On My Honor This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 9, 2010
Honestly, I was just looking for my missing piece. But instead I found myself clutched by computer screens circa 4 a.m. My roommate was some feet away, unconscious like any other good human being at that hour.


I wished I were unconscious; I never thought sleep could save me so much money! See I was up late, and I was up playing poker. And I was losing.


A lot.


What’s worse? It wasn’t my money, and I hate poker. This requires some explanation. Dear best friends and trustees: listen, I have something to tell you.


Six months ago, I said to you all, “Let us go then, you and I, when the stock market is low after a brief dive.”


And then there were eight, with equal contributions of $250 each. Countless hours researching in Lilly, weekly meetings, and we had our prize: a beaten up satellite company.


We were risk averse, delegating a single $250 share to this 80-cent company. Then, the account became dormant. The desires for academic success, sleeping in on Sundays, and being “dirty rushed” took over. We weren’t moving forward. I am eighteen, and I am idealistic. I admit that.


But then there’s this girl, and she happens to be very special. Except, she’s in San Jose. Let me start by saying I have a job. It pays well. I just hadn’t been a very smart saver. So, yes I was dying to see a familiar face, and no, I couldn’t afford this plane ticket. Honestly, this is what I did: I logged in to our account, bet heavily on a market drop, and lost half the fund. In a day.


Damn, I’m thinking, I should’ve waited for that paycheck. Loneliness is a wicked thing.


So I’m up playing poker. I needed that grand.


I lost much more.


Inevitably, my winter break became a lesson in anxiety and hustling on eBay.


Scenario one: “Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you.” Yes mom, yes dad, I honestly did that. I’d put off telling them for weeks, a procrastination that was heavily taxed. I was embarrassed; I felt like I had dishonored my entire family.


Scenario two: “Sweetheart, we can’t go out to dinner for awhile.” Yes, I honestly did that. Do you still love me?


Determined to make things right, I raised over two thousand dollars in a single month wheeling and dealing my old things on the Internet and Craigslist. I have since paid my friends back in full, closed the account down, and begun saving smarter.


The most expensive failure is the one that you let rob your self-esteem. My parents were upset but still loved me. My girlfriend got to experience fast food the rest of break, but she still loves me too. Honestly, this is my illustration of honor: the personal risk taken to make things right. At last glance, that stock was at $1.30. It’s an enticing prospect. But for now, I won’t partake. I’m on honorable discharge.





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