Being My Own Person

Being My Own Person

Gaining independence is not as simple as moving out. It takes more.

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When I first graduated from high school, I was so excited about college. But, the truth is, I wasn't excited for college because of expanding my horizon or making a new life. Honestly, I just wanted to move away from my family. I know what you're thinking. Harsh, right? Well, it's the truth. But why? The thing is that I love my family, but sometimes they really get in the way of my grind. My parents overreact over everything I do, even when it's not that big of a deal. My brother and sister are really unsupportive of my passions and hobbies. Overall, it's exhausting living with them and I don't argue with them anymore because it drains my energy. I can honestly go on about my family forever, but that's not what this is about. It's about who I became and being able to make my own decisions.

As I progressed through the years of college, I've grown mentally and physically. I was able to find the confidence I never knew I had. Along with this confidence, I got more involved in school and gained leadership experience. Here is where the story is interesting. One of the groups I got involved in on campus is Alpha Kappa Psi, Alpha Kappa Psi is a co-ed business fraternity. I joined it because I wanted to gain the tools needed to become a more successful business leader and gains the tools needed to do so. Along with that, I also made new friends and learned to be more clear and confident in my interviews. Unfortunately, my parents thought otherwise. One of the things I forgot to mention about my family is that my parents are really strict Christians. I am a Christian too, but I don't take things as seriously as they do. I pray, I read scripture, I go to church. But, they always judge my ways because I'm not as serious as them. My parents think fraternities are like cults and once you join, you're selling yourself off to other figures or something.

I know that's not the case.

But they are too unreasonable. They threatened to take me out of school if I didn't quit, but I knew they were bluffing. Even if they weren't, I would've rather let them take me out of school than give them the satisfaction of controlling my life when I'm already 21. After that, I had a realization. As an adult, I'm the master of my destiny. In other words, I make my own decisions. No one can judge me. Only God can. My parents guided me up to this moment, and I'm thankful to them for that, but whether they realize it or not, this is my life, and I refuse to let them be in charge of that. That applies to any random person who even thinks about judging me. I plan to live life to the fullest, and no one will ever get in the way of that, even if the ones you love the most are biggest doubters.

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.
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I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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