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How Being Homeless Teached Me to Work Hard

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My journey from childhood to adulthood was when my family and I unfortunately became homeless. Around the age of ten, my mother, older brother and I were living happily in our four-bedroom home, and the next minute, we were packing our things. Moving trucks and random people that I had never seen before were putting our precious memories: my childhood, my stability, and everything that made our house a home, into the back of a moving van. We were forced to go, and while I was confused and not quite sure of what was going on, all I wanted to do was stay in that house that I grew to love. Whenever I asked my mom what was happening, she would always say, “we are just moving in with a friend for a while” or “do not worry about it, we will be okay.” Although she constantly reassured me, I saw the distraught look on her face and could not help but worry about our future.

We lived with our family friends for about two years, and during this time, my brother, mother and I shared a three bedroom house with a family of four. My mother and I slept in a small room downstairs and shared a bed while my brother slept upstairs in an attic space. Even though we shared a room, I barely got to see my mother. She was constantly working two jobs just to be able to pay half of the house bills while trying to save whatever little money she could in order to hopefully have enough money to get our own home. To what could have been thought as of an escape, school life wasn’t any easier than home. I remember the difficulty explaining my situation to my friends, mostly because I didn’t fully understand myself. The other kids would ask me why I was always with Logan, the girl that I lived with, and why they could never come over to my house to visit. I would always get melancholy when I told the other kids that I did not have my own home. I experienced bullying, hearing that I was homeless, and that I had to beg for money. It was hard on me because I was balancing a hectic home and school life.

With my family being at our lowest point thus far, it ignited something in me. It forced me to see that unfortunate situations do happen and nothing in the world was going to be given to be given to me. The only thing I could do was focus all of my energy into perfecting all of the other aspects of my life that I could control. In this way I would ensure that my children will never have to go through the hurt, confusion, and bullying that I had to encounter. At the age of 12, I taught myself how to cook and clean around the house, I concentrated more on my school work and took honors and advanced classes so that I could prepare myself for college classes in high school. Even today I continue to self-motivate by keeping up my academics, balancing a job and after school clubs and activities so that I am guaranteed to make better financial decisions. Although I have not always had it easy, this situation has molded me into the determined young adult that I am today who is always striving to do better so that I can have a stable and stress free future.

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