Carpe Diem | Teen Ink

Carpe Diem

January 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Today on my to-do list I have to write my admissions essay, get my portfolio and resume together, actually finish school, and get my mind around the fact that I am going to be in a different world very soon. About a year and a half earlier than regular high school students, in fact. Yes, this is solely by choice but it’s still a big wall to get around. I realize that I won’t have my parents to do my laundry. I won’t get to come home and hug my dad before bed each night. (Yes, I’m still a Daddy’s girl, and proud!) I’ll have to be around people I really don’t know at all.
For the most part I’m pretty self sufficient. I’m ok with going to eat by myself, studying alone, not having anyone to push me to do needed tasks, and setting a schedule for myself. Right now all of this seems so exciting, but when I actually get to college I think it’s going to hit me. I sit here and think to myself: wow, this is it. This is the time that teenagers yearn for, strive for, and live for. They keep going for the moment they get to drive away in their car and go live life on their own and go to college. They can’t wait for this step into a life by themselves.. I’m ready for this transition, or at least I lead myself to believe that I am. But it’s the petty things that are really getting to me. Such as: while living in the dorm is there going to be drama, just like in high school? (I went to a public high school for one year and had some horrible but needed experiences.) Am I possibly going to fail a class? Are all the stories true about getting slammed with homework constantly? My social life lacks, but will I even have time for that anymore? Will I smell constantly because I forget to do my laundry? I’ll be 17 years old and in college. Is this one year of age difference going to make a huge discrepancy?
It’s January 2, 2008 and I plan on graduating in mid-February. In my world that I’ve created for myself and set myself in, that really isn’t a long time at all. I have consumed myself with homework so much in the past year that 24 hours is not enough to accomplish everything my mind wants to. I sit back and think about all the time that I’ve spent preparing myself for the moment that I’d be done with high school. I think about how a year ago I was a sophomore, preparing to graduate at the beginning of the next year and go to college in the fall. I sit back and think about how I have stuck to this schedule religiously. I have allowed myself to miss out on high school dances, a teenage social life, and a chunk of adolescence because of my hatred that I grew for public schools and my “carpe-diem” like drive.
A year ago I was living in the suburbs of Chicago not really going anywhere with my life. Now I live in Brentwood, Tennessee and it’s just the opposite. I miss Chicago dearly, and I still refer to it as home, but when I add it all up, as much as I didn’t want to move a year ago I realize how much of a positive impact it has had on my life. If I hadn’t moved a year ago I wouldn’t be sitting here today writing this. All I would care about would be friends and what I would be doing this weekend. If I had not moved to the Nashville area I don’t think I’d be pursuing Belmont with this much intensity.
I’m very surprised that I’m not passing out from exhaustion everyday. I know good and well that I’m pushing myself. But it is absolutely amazing the lengths that you can exert your body and mind to. I have pushed myself to finish classes that were meant to be finished in a school year in two weeks. I retain everything I learn and get A’s and B’s in my classes. I have discovered just how much I wasn’t doing before I started home schooling. I thought I knew what it was like to be under pressure before a year ago. In all reality I had absolutely no idea.
I’ve never liked big crowds. I’m much more of an intimate, one on one person. I actually tend to get intimidated in large groups and become standoffish and shy if I don’t know the people all that well. That’s one reason why I chose to home school myself. Not only do I not mind being alone in a work environment I do better when it’s just me or a small amount of people around me. I can stay focused and feel more secure. With Belmont being a smaller college than most I think it would really appeal to me.
Through this whole finishing school matter I’m also faced with my dad having cancer. It has been a long, hard road for the past two years of his battle. Sadly, it’s still not over. I have had so many hospital visits with my dad that I have learned how to understand doctor speak and even where they keep the free drinks hidden. As I sit here and realize the extremity of this matter it hits me: this is not just a learning experience. This is a loving experience. To get to the good things in life you first have to go through the bad. But it’s going to be the hardest thing I ever do to leave my dad. I know I won’t leave him, leave him, I’ll only be 20 minutes away, but I won’t be in the house constantly anymore. I won’t be home for dinner every night. I won’t be under the same rules.
Belmont is my absolute first choice for college, especially at this point in my life. I don’t want to and I don’t think I physically could be a farther distance away from my dad. He is my hero and the person I go to when I’m having troubles and don’t know what to do. I know eventually I’ll move away and be on my own but I don’t necessarily need to move that far away now and I don’t think it’s the right time to do that. He needs me and I need him. Thankfully we’re in an area where Belmont is right around the corner and I can have my cake and eat it too. I’d be close to my dad and have a great education at a place that I actually want to be.
I am so anxious to start studying journalism. Ever since I was in 2nd and 3rd grade I have been writing short stories and have loved to read and write. I even joined my online school’s newspaper staff. Every month I have a different story published. I enjoy writing immensely. Reading and writing have almost always been apparent in my life. Words infect my everyday life and invade my heart and soul and touch me. Words don’t just have a connotation of something literal but also something emotional. I constantly thirst for a new word to add to my vocabulary. My highest aspirations at this time are to start a music magazine one day and a coffee shop with a music venue. What better school than Belmont? Music is the biggest thing there. Not to mention the journalism program and business management is strong. God has obviously put me in Brentwood, Tennessee for more than one reason, reasons I couldn’t see a year ago.
This transition starts a new chapter in my life. For some reason all throughout my short 2.5 years of high school I didn’t think it would ever end. I thought that 4 years was a really long time. Because of the schedule I’ve set for myself a week is hardly here before it’s gone. My time has begun to fly, and quickly it goes. Now that it’s ending I’m starting to think very seriously about my career. I’m going to be going to college, what I have been waiting for. This is where it all starts. This is where my career and my hopes and dreams are going to be built up. This is the part in my life that back when I was in kindergarten I told my teacher about. Well, I’m grown up now and it’s all going to be in my hands very shortly. I no longer say “When I grow up I’m going to be a journalist.” Now I say “This is it. The time is here. I’m no longer staring at my dreams through a window at night. I’m now taking the steps to making them a reality. Life is here.”

Carpe Diem – Seize the day, because it never fails. It is always gone before you realize it.

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