My Childhood Experiences
Living in a place where everyone knows everyone was great in some ways but not at all times. It was freaky knowing that your neighbor knew what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Growing up with only a mother and brother had it ups and downs. It made us a close-knit family. I remember one of the house rules was to always make time for family. I believe that perhaps it was the only rule. Our lives changed dramatically once my stepfather came into our lives. My older brother no longer had to be the man of the house. My brother and I could now live our lives as normal teenagers and drop some of the bigger responsibilities that were given to us to help out my mother in times of need.
My life before my stepfather was not all bad. For starters I got to spend more time with my family. My mom had a fixed schedule; she would be off by the time we came home from school. Meals would be on the table every night and we could take that time to enjoy the meal and share what happen throughout the day with each other.
My neighborhood was not the most pleasant at times. There were times where my mother would get furious with me if I left her sight while outside. I did not understand at the time why she was so protective of me. All I wanted to do was ride my bicycle with my friends and not have her or my older brother tagging alone. Until one day a friend from my school was found in the alley (my friends and I use to sneak to) almost beaten to death for whatever reason. It was the most shocking thing ever. I then learn that my mother was only trying to protect me from the outside world.
Most of my friends understood what it meant to be less fortune. We all had basically the same things so it was not necessary to judge one another. Going to a public school for me was normal. I did not think at the time there where school better than the one I attended. I felt that they were all equal on most levels. Of course I knew there were some things better at different school that our school obviously lacked on, but I did not know it was such a big difference. At the public school I went to the teachers seem to pay more attention to the kid with discipline problems rather than the kids trying to learn. They would just give them chance after chance instead of sending him/her to get disciplined.
My social surrounding had a great deal of influence on my life as well. If I did not have the supportive mother and brother I did I most likely would have ended up like half of my friends. They did not have the guidance or support I was blessed to have. Some of their parents did not drive them to complete school, or even just get their GED. It was acceptable for them to end up like their parents. Education to my mother was top priority.
Now that my stepfather is in my life, I can get advice from a male perspective. My family and I soon moved to much better environment. The house was much bigger. My brother and I rooms combined made up the laundry room. New neighborhood meant new school for me. I remember being excited but nervous at the same time. I would not know anyone there and it would be totally different because it was a private school. I had lots of things to get use to.
Private school was not as bad as I thought it would be. I just did not think it would be incredibly different. There were things I expected to be there like: strict rules, bad uniforms, and more rules. I did not expect there to be better teaching, more resources, and more technology. It was all together better than the public school I attended. Even outside the classroom was better. For example, the track equipment was top of the line and they even had their own weight room. Compared to my old school everything seemed to be less inferior to the new private school.
I always wondered if my life would have been less successful if I would have continued my education in the public school system. Looking back on my past experiences I now believe it would have been just as successful. The only difference would have been not being exposed to some things I was fortune to experience. Life is better knowing, I had the chance to travel and experience some of the things I would not have thought of in a million years.