Reminiscing on my first year at Vassar

Yesterday I finished my last final and in doing so closed the chapter on my first year at Vassar. After such a long day I expected to want to just rest and forget the stress of the past year, but now that it’s completely over I can’t help but think back over all of the ups and downs that I went through this past year. When I got here, I thought that I had everything figured out. I knew that I wanted to go to Med-School and I thought I knew what I wanted to major. I had a grand plan that I had thought out for months. I’d even planned out things down to my extracurricular activities. Even after all that, I guess that life simply forces us to change so that we can grow.

My first semester was full of struggle and fighting to find what I wanted to do. From the very beginning of my time here, I fought to keep the plan I’d thought out. I knew that I wanted to swim, and refused to let it go even when I realized that it was too much. I struggled with the thought of letting go of one of the things that had helped define me for so long. I thought that if I let go of the team that I’d spent so much time, I’d end up feeling entirely alone. I wouldn’t only be giving up one of the activities that I thought helped to give me a reason to get up every morning, but I’d be losing the first family that I’d found at Vassar. Yet when I was forced to give something up, I grudgingly accepted that I had to give up swimming.

In the same manner I fought to hold on to  my gaming and the family that I had in that world. I have been an active gamer for years, and I didn’t think that I could just let go of another huge piece of what I thought defined my personality and character. The group of people I played World of Warcraft with had grown to be more than just a group of online friends to me. They were the family that helped me release stress and frustration when we killed internet dragons together. They were the friends that were always there, and who seemed to listen to all of my problems no matter what new issue arose in my life. Eventually I was forced to give up more of myself to continue with the life that I thought I wanted and needed, and my gaming habits and the friends it had gained me through the years were the next to go.

At this point I fell into a state of minor depression. I’d given up almost everything that I enjoyed and that I thought made up what was me. I couldn’t stand dealing with any issues because I began to feel entirely alone. The person I relied on most to help me began to falter here as well, and that only made things worse. She went from being my best friend who I went to with all my problems to someone who I hid things from because I didn’t want anymore problems or issues to arise. I was afraid of my life and afraid of losing any more. I didn’t want to let go of her because of how much she’d meant to me for so long, but I knew that it was only causing me more harm to keep holding on. As life would have it, I eventually found the strength to let go of her entirely.

Although I knew that letting go of all of these things was necessary, without all of them I felt like there was nothing left of me. Everything that I’d once done to give my life meaning was gone. The major aspects of my life that I enjoyed I’d had to give up, and I was left feeling stuck in a vortex of emotions where I couldn’t find a solid ground to stand on. I wanted to give up on everything and just proclaim to the world that it didn’t have to do anymore. I’d lost my motivation to keep going and had no one to push me towards it again. I was like that for months, yet some voice in the back of my mind endured and repeated the same thing everyday, ” Get back up and keep going.”

I knew that in that state I was the emptiest form of myself that I could be. I started from there and began with small things to create meaning in my life again. My first step was simply to be happy to anyone and everyone. I’d held anger and frustration in me for so long, and I wanted to let go of it all. I was tired of lashing out at people at taking out my frustrations in ways that hurt others. At first it was hard to keep a smile on my face. I couldn’t stand feeling like I was pretending to be something I wasn’t, but progressively that smile became real.

I continued building on myself by opening up to the friends who I’d shunned for months. I wanted to reignite all the lost relationships. My family, my friends back home, and my new friends at Vassar. I wanted to reintroduce myself to so many people and show them that I wanted to care. I spent so much time on the phone with my family; I caught up with my siblings and made it clear that I wanted them to tell me what was going on in their lives. I started talking to friends I hadn’t spoken to since Graduation, and many of them seemed so happy to hear from me. I loved having those feelings of knowing that I had so many friends back. The shadow of loneliness faded.

I began to try new things on campus with all the new people that I’d opened up to. I joined the Quidditch team and the Ballroom Club. I met two amazing groups of people who both pushed me to be the happy person I wanted to be. I found myself laughing again and doing things I would have never pictured myself doing before. I’d never truly tried dancing before, yet I went dancing multiple times a week all through my second semester. I loved getting on the dance floor and learning new moves that seemed so amazing. In the same manner I loved going out to the pitch for Quidditch practice and playing such an amazing sport. I loved that I had the ability to push myself there and work towards becoming a greater player, yet the people on the team added a factor of fun and silliness that I hadn’t felt from swimming in years.

Going through all of this breaking down and rebuilding showed me how little I really understood of myself or the life I wanted. I spent so much time focusing on a set path that I’d set, but I now think that I need to learn to change my path to grow around what life throws at me. The journey is infinitely more important than the end.

I can’t even put to words how much my first year at Vassar has meant to me. I went through so much struggle and pain to find happiness in myself, but I found it here. This school has given me the opportunity to rebuild myself and grow into a bigger person than I was. Despite having poor grades first semester and feeling that I could have done better academically second semester, I am glad with what I did learn my first year. The information I gained on who I am and what being happy means to me is something far more important. I’ve grown as a person in ways I would have never done if I hadn’t been willing to let go of the parts of my old life that held me to a stubborn mentality. This ending is only the beginning to so much more. I can’t wait to come back to this campus in the fall. Right now I am looking forward to the remainder of my college years more than I ever have.

For now, I’ll head home and wait though. Good bye, Vassar. I can’t wait to see what else you have to teach me.

Thoughts on Bernstein

Recently in a philosophy course I am taking we discussed the philosopher Richard J. Bernstein’s “Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis.” While reading through his arguments for Hermeneutics and the interaction between people and art, I thought that his arguments brought on an odd topic.

Bernstein was attempting to build an argument in which he built up Hermeneutics, which was originally used to explain the interpretations of the Bible, to be applicable to all art in general. In building this argument he states that “aesthetic judgments are grounded in human subjectivity and yet are not merely relative.” With this he begins trying to explain that just as taste is communal, so too is the aesthetic pleasure found in art. Although many would argue that aesthetic pleasure in art is relative, Bernstein explains that the “museum” conception of art, in which we separate a work of art from anything extraneous to it, helps create a feeling that art is only to be judged on personal taste.

From here Bernstein introduces the idea of play that Godamer used to explain hermeneutics. Bernstein explains that an important aspect of play outlined by Godamer was the primacy of games. He states that “play fulfills its purpose only if the player loses himself in his play.” He goes on to mention the to-and-fro movement that belongs to play and says that play is a “happening”. In saying this, Bernstein is making the argument that for a game to truly be “play”, the player must take part in the to-and-from movements of play. In a sense, players give up a semblance of their individuality to truly become a part of the game. From this, the game gains its own essence and existence through the players.It “reaches presentation through the players” to become more than an activity; the subject of play is not the players, but the play itself.

In a further explanation of Hermeneutics, Bernstein explains the effect that prejudices have on our interpretation of art and how every interpretation is influenced by the prejudices that the interpreter carries. This is not directly applied to the idea of the game, but I will discuss this later and how I believe it relates to my thoughts.

I found this way of thinking to be very extraordinary. If we accept that in giving ourselves entirely to play we give presentation to a consciousness that is beyond that of the individuals playing, then games can be thought of metaphorically as their own existent entities. This consciousness that is created is also to be thought of as independent of the players that have created it with their play. Bernstein then explains that although a clear of objection to this train of thought would be to argue that without players there is no play, “analyzing play in terms of attitudes of the subjects… distorts the very phenomenon that we are trying to describe.” In explaining Godamer, Bernstein has stated that players giving themselves entirely to the primacy of play creates a phenomenon of greater consciousness. An entity that has its own rhythm and movement is created that becomes that steals the focus from the players.

A professional athlete is a professional game player, but they are not perfectly comparable to children playing games. The difference between a professional athlete and a child playing a game: a professional athelete constantly works to be a greater player of the sport and in a sense a greater manifestation of the consciousness of the game that he plays. In attempting to become greater, with or without a team, he is striving to reach perfection and improve on the horizons of the sport.

The knowledge and horizons that he begins with are not entirely his own though. Here I want to talk about the idea of prejudices as they relate to sports. Every child who will one day grow to be a professional athlete receives training to grow to the point that he can improve on the current horizons of the game. The training he receives instills in him a set amount of prejudices for the game that can be thought of as a style of play. While in presenting the style that has been passed on to him he puts his own unique spin on it, it is not entirely his. His play style has been shaped by all the training he has received and all the prejudices on the sport that led to his training. Because of these prejudices, it can be thought that each generation of athletes carries with them the prejudices and knowledge of every generation that came before them. Our knowledge of the sport is communal and continually growing.

Here is where I think that the thoughts on Hermeneutics applied to sports becomes truly fascinating. If you accept both the ideas of primal play and prejudices, it can be accepted that sports, as more complex games, can have their own essence or consciousness in a sense that can work through human manifestations to reach its own perfection. Professional athletes working to expand the horizons of their respective sports can be thought of metaphorically as tools through which this consciousness works to push its own horizons. The growth and evolution of sports changes its focus from that of the individual players that helped shape that growth to the play that came of it.

While I think that this can be said to be just a fancy way to talk of the growth of a game that requires human players, I think that it paves the path for much more. Bernstein said himself that there is a phenomenon present that cannot be dismissed by simply saying that we are required as part of its existence. There is some essence of every sport that grows in a communal manner from all the progress that we make as a society. There is a back and forth growth between the players and the game, but it requires the players to look past themselves for the growth to be present. If an athlete is too focused on himself, the growth cannot take place. An athlete has to learn to channel the essence of the sport and enter a state where they can perform without thinking of being tired or hurt, but simply working towards expanding the horizons of the sport.

Coming Spring

No matter which way I looked, all I could see was a perfect white. Every tree and every path was entirely covered in snow.

It’s beautiful.

The thought crossed my mind and I pushed it away before I began to get caught up in the scenery. The snow, as beautiful as it might seem, had taken the previous life of the forest. The magnificent colors and sounds that had once thrived had been erased by the winter. It was so odd to think now that the last spring had been so much more beautiful than ever before. An even livelier appearance had come up after the last harsh winter: the beautiful pinks, whites, and bright greens that signaled the rebirth and vitality of the forest had lasted longer than usual. The green shared by all the trees went on endlessly with the most beautiful of colors popping up between the many trees. Dark red roses, bright pink peach blossoms, golden tulips and every color in between had bathed the trees in beauty. It had seemed like a paradise.

I continued walking through the paths as I searched for some semblance of life. The current state of the forest made it seem as if that beautiful spring had never existed. Every sign of life was either gone or covered up entirely by the snow. The trees, then so alive and full of wonder, seemed now just hollow shells of their former selves. Even the great pine trees that had no sign of green to them. All the color had been absorbed by the ever-present white.

As I came to a clearing, I listened for any sound of life that might come. I stood perfectly still with my eyes closed and just listened. I longed to hear the singing of birds or the rustling of a rabbit, but no sound came.

I yelled out in frustration, hoping that my sorrow would elicit some response. The only sound that was present was the howling of the wind. It danced gleefully between the trees and made its way to my ears. It carried to me the message that the snow had given it: Death consumes all.

The sounds had been so different before. The summer brought all of the animals back to the forest. Each and every one made their presence known and brought with them a unique aspect of life. A single day included the songs of countless birds, the buzzing of insects, and the knocking as the woodpeckers made their homes. The signs of life were everywhere. The wind also carried the message of the forest then, although it had been one full of life. A simple breeze became so much more when it carried with it dancing leaves and the sweet scents of the flowers and tees. The warmth could be felt as it continued to grow. It was not the same as the spring. The spring had always carried a juvenile type of ecstasy with it. Everyday was a rush to see every sign of beauty that abounded. It didn’t seem that anything was ever wrong.

The life in the summer felt much more mature and conscious of itself. The days seemed to slow down, and the sacrifices made by some inhabitants were much more visible. Death had made itself an inhabitant of the forest, but life always came from it. It was a struggle for the trees and animals to live on, yet they did. It fought for its right to continue on everyday, and it seemed that it could continue on perpetually.

Yet, just like the spring, this also ended.

Light orange began to freckle the forest and brought with it doubt. One by one the trees became convinced that life would fade away and yield to death. The leaves  lost their lively green and replaced it with the red, orange, and yellow that seemed to promise life would return. Even while waving that flag of defiance, the leaves began to fall and the colors to fade. The animals took note of the change and dispersed. The sounds and colors  disappeared and gave way to the cold and white that now inhabited the forest.

Now the winter had its grasp firmly set on everything. Nothing remained, and it felt as if it would stay that way. No matter where in the forest I went it was the same: Life was gone. The cold eventually seeped into my very being and I came to accept the death that surrounded me. I barely made the effort to continue on, it just didn’t seem worth it anymore. Whatever demands this torturous cold made, I would give in.  There had been a short period when I thought that it might fade away and leave the way for life to return, but the returning warmth had faded away before it even had a foothold.

I felt entirely defeated.

I decided to make my way to my favorite tree. In the spring and summer it had always yielded the most beautiful of flowers, and I loved to sit under it and just take in the view  around it. I found it in the same state that the rest of the forest was in: A hollow visage of what I remembered it as and completely covered in snow. I sat under it and looked about. Disappointed with what I saw, I closed my eyes and remembered what the view had once been like. The beauty that  I remembered brought a smile to my face, but I was simply in rejoicing memories. I brought opened my eyes to bring reality back into my mind, but I was astounded by what I saw.

A peach petal. 

It sat on my lap and contrasted the unyielding white with a beautiful hue of pink. I simply stared at it for a few moments and then realized what it meant. I got up and looked up at my tree. I didn’t expect that what I sought would be there, but it was. A single blossom had sprung up in its lovely pink. The tree must have felt the short period of warmth that had taunted me and began to come alive again.

I felt my hope reigniting. I was so absorbed in the blossom. The smile that had faded so quickly began to return to my face. It wasn’t due to happiness though.

I understood. 

I finally understood and accepted the cycle. Life blossoms, but it also withers. The height of either part of the cycle doesn’t mean the end  of the other, it just means there is so much more potential for the other to grow. Both must coexist and be accepted. Death and life are eternally bound together. And just as the freckles of orange in the fall that signal the doubt of life and coming period of death: the first pink blossoms signal the growing hope and life of the spring.

Sweet Dreams

I sat expectantly looking up at the sky. It had been a very bleak and cloudy day and I was sure it was going to rain. I sat there waiting for the first signs of rain to fall, yet nothing happened.

After a few minutes she looked at me triumphantly. Just as I began to admit I was wrong, a light rain fell over us. I could feel a smile creeping over my face, but I didn’t want to say anything. I simply put my arms around her and held her as we sat together in the rain. No matter how dull or chilly the day felt right at that moment, I only felt joy from being with her. I felt the warmth of her body as we sat together, and I smiled as I leaned closer to her.

The scenery and feelings I felt changed suddenly. I was no longer sitting with my arms around her in the rain, instead I sat in the back of a large classroom between aisles of desks. There were multiple computer monitors lighting up the otherwise dark and quiet room. Only two others sat in the room with us, but they didn’t appear to pay any attention to us. For some reason I was attempting to take her shoe from her. I felt a playfulness come over me as I continually tried reaching for her shoe. She kicked and kept me from my goal every time I tried. She ran away down the isle and I followed her. I sat at the edge of the isle, blocking her only way to run away from me again.

She attempted to quickly move over me to run away, but I stopped her as she tried. She stood before me and I looked over her beautiful smile as I noticed the same feeling of joy that I felt on her face. Our gazes met and without a second thought I leaned up towards her. As our lips met for the first time, I felt perfect bliss sweep over me for just a moment.

Again the scene before me changed drastically in the blink of an eye. The quiet dark of the classroom disappeared and was replaced by a brightly lit hall. I lay on the ground next to a set of lockers and closed my eyes as I spoke to her. I heard her talking and simply listened for a moment. Somehow our conversation turned to what the outcome in a wrestling match between us would be. We both defended our cases and argued for our personal victories. The conversation died down and she sat quietly a short distance from me. 

She jumped at me, all the while laughing, and tried to pin me down as quickly as possible. I pushed her arms off chest and tried to pin her before she could regain herself and push me back down. We struggled back and forth for a bit until she sat on top of my chest and smiled down at me. She laughed sweetly as I denied that she had every truly pinned me. 

I opened my eyes and was greeted again by new surroundings. I sat on a bench atop a hill that overlooked a huge park. The park itself was nestled withing a suburban area that polluted the air with the sound of passing cars. I paid no attention to either the park or the sound, I was completely enthralled by her. She sat across the bench from where I was, and I could not take my eyes off of her. The sun made her smile glow more than usual. The slight breeze tugged at her hair as she moved it out of her face. She stared back at me with her beautiful brown eyes. 

Her smile turned to a look of curiosity as she asked why I stared at her. I had no answer and simply continued to look at her in awe. She grew more and more beautiful every time I saw her, and I was content simply to sit there with her. When she realized I had no response to her question she jumped up and began to run off. I chased after her and wrapped my arms around her waist when I caught her. She turned to face me and I just continued to smile at her as I held her. 

The scene shifted as I held her. She now lay on my chest and I held onto her as she slept. She stirred and looked up at me with a small yawn. She placed her hands over my eyes as she said it was rude to stare. I laughed as I pulled her hands away from my eyes and continued to look at her. After a few moments she asked, “What is it?” 

“I love you.”


Last year around October I began to take swimming seriously by joining a club team. I had never been that fast, but I wanted to get to the point where I could really compete in our school league. My goal was not to be the best, but to consistently get better. I went to the practices daily and pushed myself as hard as I could.

When I started, I was the slowest one. All the girls and the other guys finished sets before me. Even when we worked on my fastest stroke, I couldn’t keep up with the kids who said they were bad at it. I felt so unworthy to swim with the kids there. They were all younger than me, yet they all outdid me with minimal effort. The one thing that I had in common with them was that I wanted to get better. I wanted to prove that although I started swimming really late in life compared to them, I had it in me to swim at the same level as them.

That motivation pushed me through months of work. The practices got harder and harder as time went by, and I was able to keep up with them. Slowly but surely I was able to keep up with more and more of the team. I was never content though, I always felt the need to keep pushing. I wanted to be competing with the best on our team, and I wanted to continue to improve.

Now I’m feeling a bit discouraged. I’ve continued working, but it seems like some of the people I was keeping pace with have left me in the dust. I’ve continued improving, but my rate of improvement has slowed drastically. For the past few weeks I’ve felt slow during practice. I’ve felt that feeling of not deserving to swim with the team again. To make matters worse, in two months I’ll be starting with a college team where I expect the standards will be higher. I don’t feel prepared at this point. I feel like despite all my effort, I will continue to be sub par.

This feeling is the exact opposite of what I want. I don’t want to quit, I don’t even want to pause. Swimming has become a sort of addiction to me. Whenever I’m in the water I feel a unique ecstasy that I don’t want to give up. Although at the moment my goals while in the water seem so far off that the feeling I get doesn’t cover my disappointment. I have my goal in mind and I want to stick to it, but it just seems so unrealistic right now. These doubts seem so childish, but I can’t shake them off when I can’t rely on myself to improve how I want.

I need to work for it until I find that spark again. My passion is misplaced at the moment, but I’m going to find it and push through the four years of college swimming I have ahead of me. I know that I have love for this sport, I just have to keep working until I stumble upon it again.


Last Saturday I sat watching the USA vs. Mexico game with my parents. I cheered on for the United States while my dad was ecstatic over Mexico’s win. Simple enough Saturday night, except it got me thinking. My dad jokingly called me a traitor while I thought it was obvious I should cheer on the team that represented my country, but I really felt torn between the two teams.

My whole life I’ve been told I am a Mexican. My heritage is Mexican, the food I eat is Mexican, my culture is Mexican; it seems that the little part of the world I live in is mostly Mexican. Yet the area I live in is American, the music I listen to is American, the culture I connect with is American. My world to this point is an odd toss up  between American and Mexican. So what should I consider myself?

I don’t feel like I have the right to consider myself truly Mexican. I was neither born nor raised there. I have visited where my family comes from, but my so called family all felt like strangers to me. I had nothing in common with them. I came from a completely different world, and it seemed like they found more amusement in asking about that world than in immersing me in theirs.

Once I did see what their world was like, I realized that I did not share their struggles or their joys. The life they lived was far from what I had always experienced, and not even the shared blood and language we had could change that.

Yet many of my friends in the same situation seemed to strongly believe that they were Mexican. That they should have pride in the country that their families came from, and not the country that they had lived in their whole lives. And as much as I disagreed with doing this, I couldn’t find a way in which I considered myself truly American either.

As much as the American culture and view of the world seemed to be mine, there was so much about the “American” view that I didn’t share. I am the son of immigrants, this country is mine only as much as I work for it. My first language wasn’t that of this country. I grew up in a mixed world and going straight to the American lifestyle doesn’t seem right. I still find some pride in where my family came from. The ties to Mexico weren’t strong enough to let me consider myself Mexican, but their presence kept me from being American.

I feel left without a country to truly consider mine. I feel little connection to the two which should be mine, so I feel at a loss as to where I should believe I am from. I don’t think I could stand by a person from either country and simply say, “I’m just like you.”

I don’t want to simply say I’m Hispanic or Latino either. Those words include even more heritage and culture in them than simply saying American or Mexican. I suppose this is simply the beginning of the melting pot that is the United States. If college applications serve as a foreshadowing of anything, it appears that eventually my family will simply be another Caucasian family. That only leaves me to wonder if those generations that feel they are truly American will find any pride in the Mexican heritage that they carry.


Before I start I want to say that I have nothing against people who consider themselves a set religion. I like to respect people’s beliefs, but these are mine on the subject of religion.

I was raised as a Catholic. My parents were very religious when I was young, and because of it I went to church almost every week. My parents taught me about morality, and I learned a great deal of right and wrong from studying religion.

As I grew older my parents wanted me to follow the general path of a Catholic. I started my classes for my first communion in which I had many of my questions answered. Almost every question I had was met with an answer from the Bible, but there were the few that had no real answer. I was told to simply have faith.

At the time that answer was more than enough. I wanted to believe, I wanted to know that God was out there looking over us. When my friends began to falter in their faith, I told them to simply believe. There was the matter of evolution and the Big Bang, but I thought those were simply put there to test whoever didn’t truly believe.

Yet as I continued to grow, my own faith faltered. My junior year of high school my mindset went through a huge change. I went from simply taking God’s presence for granted to once again questioning how things came to be. My curiosity overcame my faith. I wanted to find my own answers.

Throughout that year I asked for people’s beliefs on the subject. I wondered how everyone else thought the world came to be. Many told me that they believed science was right, others said that their religion answered that for them.

It seemed to me like religion had become more about the community of people and not the beliefs themselves. People just sought to have something in common with others, to feel like they were a part of something bigger than themselves. Many weren’t truly interested in the thoughts that were associated with the title they carried over themselves.

Religion seemed to be what certain people lived for. In times of weakness they attributed everything, good or bad, to God’s Will. Instead of meeting God half way and chasing after what they wanted, they simply sat there waiting for their prayers to be answered. This didn’t seem at all like what a deity would want of his creations.

After all the years spent thinking about how religion should work into life, I came up with my own way of seeing life. I don’t think any one person can have everything right, but I decided to live by what I found.

I strongly believe that life is about creating yourself in a way that everyone can respect. To be true to yourself and your morals. If there is a God, even he should be able to respect the way you build yourself. And if there isn’t, then make those around you see that the corruption of the world isn’t complete. There is good in people, and the minor differences from one person to the other don’t change that.


Having recently graduated from high school, I can say with confidence that it was a special kind of hell. It was a place where while I went by choice, I regretted being there every day for some new reason. Yet I pushed through it, enjoying all the good times to be had.

I found pride in every success, it was amazing to see a report card with all A’s on it. The grades weren’t what I was truly proud of though. My pride came from knowing that I’d mastered a subject. When I got an A, to me it meant I’d learned everything I could from that class.

Through the first few years of high school it seemed like the classes were just too easy. Because of that ease in material, I found a competition with my peers to be exhilarating. Yet, as the years went by it seemed like more and more of my peers became concerned with the grades over the knowledge.

Copying on homework was one thing, yet many of the people I loved to compete with began to copy on tests. Our small test by test competitions had become more a matter of class rank to them, and I had no wish to participate in that type of race.

A few of my close friends joked that I was hit with Senioritis my junior year, but I was simply disappointed in what I saw around me. I began to lose interest in school simply because the system seemed so corrupt around me.

Despite all the nonsense that I saw around me, I took pride in knowledge and moved away from the petty competition of rank. I kept to my honor and valued the work I did put in. Even though I knew I was just becoming lazier with my disillusionment, I still put in the work where it mattered to me.

My junior and senior years in high school showed a great slump in my academic performance as shown by grades. I knew that I was doing what I wanted though, my test scores and my understanding of the classes I enjoyed was just as great as ever.Even as I saw my peers cheating in AP classes, I stuck to what I believed in. I refused to fall prey to the mentality that everyone was doing it so it was ok.

I caused my situation to be harder than it should have been simply because I sought a challenge. I was always pushing the envelope with my teachers, even taunting a few of them to make the work harder. But even when I the work got extremely difficult, I wanted to succeed simply of my own knowledge.

Somehow I find more pride in knowing that I finished on my own than knowing that I finished. I couldn’t care less about the ranks and the games involved with high school. I think it was an interesting experience to work through so much that I didn’t agree with going on around me. I worked from my knowledge and my understanding, and never looked for an easy way out. And despite the fact that I was a terrible student my last two years, I’m happy with the experience as a whole.