Growing Up Under Pressure Can Bring Out The Best In People

There Are Diamonds In The Rough, From The Person Who Is Living Proof

Growing up in the bad times has made me appreciate the good times

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Heat, pressure, and time. That's all it takes to make a diamond. Heat, pressure, and time. That's all it takes to make or break a person. Diamonds and people are incredibly similar in the fact that both of them start out as flawed, but are crafted into beautiful things.

diamond inside coal

Growing up in a household of scarcity can do a lot of things to a young person. It can harden their soul to the outside world, building within them resentment and hatred of those who were dealt a better hand. That's because they go day to day wondering "God, why did you choose me for this kind of life?" They feel targeted, second-guessing every move they make because they know that things are too good to be true.

Money, food, happiness... all of these things that people around you seem to have in surplus, you have none of. Rock bottom is feeling like you are the only one going through it. There is no other loneliness like when you're standing in a house, an empty shell of what used to be a home. Remembering the times where "we didn't have much but we had each other" that are simply non-existent now chisels away at the mind and motivation to go on.

Sadly, this is where many people get stuck. They don't realize that everything that happens to you in life can be used as fuel. Eventually, as an adult, you have to stop playing the victim card and start rolling with the punches. You have to realize that the environment you come up in is the single most important thing in your development as a human. People have to start taking the things that tear ordinary people down and using it as a reason to hustle your way out of the bad situation you are in.

50 Cent Quote

Yeah, there were times where I missed my mother and father and didn't have someone there. There were definitely nights where I went to bed for dinner. Nights in the winter where I shivered, and days where I didn't know where my next meal was coming from. But no matter what, I kept those memories locked in to add fuel to my fire knowing that one day, things wouldn't be like this again. I had to remember to be thankful I even knew my parents. To be thankful I had a school to go to where I could escape each day and work myself to the grindstone until I knew my future was taken care of.

People like an underdog. It gives them something to believe in, attaching them to a lost piece of themselves. This is how I got my family back. How I motivated them to do what was best for their health and me as their child. How my mother escaped from the cold grip of addiction. She put in the long nights because she saw me do the same with much less. Telling my story is how I got the opportunity I was never supposed to have. Showing people that they should never be ashamed of where they come from is how I plan to continue succeeding.

"don't be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others"

College wasn't supposed to be an option for me, but by telling my story and showing my development as a person through my hardships, I got that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Now, three years later going into the final leg of my college career, it's incredibly humbling to see how far I've come. There's no better feeling than not taking things for granted. To remember how each day used to be compared to how each day is now. The everyday privileges everyone has always enjoyed feel that much more special to you as a person.

I laugh at people who complain about the smallest inconveniences — these are the people who will never have satisfaction with themselves or their lives. When people who have scrapped their way out of nothing are minorly inconvenienced, they are thankful instead of complaining.

Quote about hardship

To anyone out there who is still going through it, if you remember nothing else remember this: take every single thing that is thrown against you in life and don't let it tear you down. Convert it into gunpowder and put a match to it, and explode in a beautiful blaze of ambition and originality. Remember everything that happens to you, but don't use it as an excuse to be anything less than your best self.

The world equally disperses talent, but not opportunity. Most people are afforded opportunities, but some of us have to seize them. Seize every moment, and you too can be the diamond that came from the rough.

Cover Image Credit:

Austin Goodwin

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I'm Not 'Spoiled,' I Just Won't Apologize For Having Great Parents

Having supportive parents is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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When I tell people that I am the baby of my family, there is always a follow-up question asking if I am spoiled. As I was a child, perhaps the situation was a little different because I did not receive material things but instead got my way or rarely was punished. I was most likely spoiled rotten in that sense, especially by my grandparents. Fast forward to the age of 19 and I can say that my parents give me everything that I need, not necessarily everything that I want.

But I still don't think I'm spoiled.

I might legally be an adult, but my parents still provide for me. I may live at school during the semester, but my parents don't charge me rent or utilities when I am at home. My mom still does my laundry. They pay my phone bill monthly. When my mom goes grocery shopping, she doesn't have me chip in to help. She will make sure the bathroom is stocked with tampons or shampoo so I don't have to worry about it. The both of them make sure I have the sufficient needs to not be hungry, cold, or without shelter.

They do all of these things because they want what is best for me.

While they pay my student loans, I give them money to cover it as well as a little extra each month for different expenses. If we go out to eat, I do offer to pay but often get shut down and end up leaving the tip instead. I help around the house and sometimes make trips to the store for food or cleaning supplies, not asking for money to be paid back.

I have a job that gives me decent hours, but my parents understand that money for a college kid is tough.

I pay for my own luxuries such as makeup, cute clothes, even to get my hair cut. Spoiled is typically defined as "damaged by having been given everything they want." Do I want another dog? Yes. Do I have one? No. Do I want a swimming pool in my backyard? Yes. Do I have one? Again, no. That is because both my mother and father still believe in working for what you want and even their daughter doesn't get a free pass unless it's her birthday or Christmas. Do I still have everything I could ever need? Yes.

My parents do the exact same thing for my brother and sister who are older than I am.

I know if I have a problem, whether it be financial or crucial, I can turn to them for help. A lot of people my age don't have parents like I do and I am extremely grateful for them and everything that they do. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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True Tales Of Growing Up In A BIG Family

Spoiler alert, I get tackled a lot.

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I was born into a fairly large family. I have upwards of twenty-something first cousins, many of who are around the same age as me. It has honestly been both a blessing and a curse to have so many people around me all the time. Some of my favorite memories come from family gatherings where all of my cousins were there. However, since most of my cousins are male, there has also been a lot of physical violence where people get hurt, even if the intentions were innocent. I have so many stories about my family, some of which I won't share here because they are a little bit inappropriate, but others are too good not to share.

The first story I want to share is from this past Easter. Most of my cousins on my Dad's side were at my Papa's house celebrating the holiday. There was so much food we could probably feed a small army. Some of the older cousins decided that we were going to play a game of whiffle ball. All of the cousins who were playing were at least sixteen and some of them were much older. Many of us had or are playing sports in High School or College so this game of whiffle ball got extremely competitive very fast. I ended up being the Umpire/pitcher because I played softball for so long. The game ended with my brothers winning and my other cousins upset that they lost, but it was still one of the memories I will cherish the most even though I definitely threw out my shoulder pitching.

I can remember playing a game of football on Thanksgiving when I was young (maybe five or six). This game, not unlike the whiffle ball game we played at Easter, got super competitive super fast to the point where even I, as a six-year-old, was being pushed and tackled to the ground by much older boys. I honestly can't remember much about that game, maybe I got hit in the head too much, but I do remember having so much fun playing with my cousins.

I've been on a cruise two times in my life, both times with my extended family. One cruise was to Mexico when I was very little. What I remember about that cruise was getting extremely sea sick and that the cleaning staff would make towel monkey on our beds. The cruise was to Alaska when I was a lot older, I think I was fifteen. Since I and my cousins were much older on that cruise, we caused a lot more trouble and were able to get away with it. Every night we would go to the pool and swim. Then, we would go to the buffet and only eat pineapples and mac and cheese. We, also, may have or may not have gone into a bar to sing karaoke. While the cruise was fun, I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't with my family.

While sometimes they can be a pain, having so much family has taught me a lot about communication and playing right. Again, I only have scratched the surface here in regards to the plentiful stories I have, many of which are so much funnier. I love my family so much and I would never trade that in for the world.

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