Troubled Times


Troubled Times Essay, Research Paper

It was a beautiful day, picture perfect, complete with blue skies, and a warm breeze on our faces as we all stood outside nervously waiting for our names to be called. It was graduation day, a day i thought I would never get to see, but there I was in my cap and gown looking out into a sea of parents, friends, and relatives remembering just how far I had come.

When I first entered high school, I performed well enough to meet my parents expectations, meaning I did the minimum work I needed to complete to pass the course. But then something inside me changed. I started skipping classes, getting into trouble, and hanging out with the wrong crowd. By my sophmore year I was failing all my classes. The trouble I was getting into also had a huge effect on my relationship with my parents. Instead of seeing them as the loving and caring people they are, I decided they were my number one enemies. We fought constantly, and sometimes even physically. I ran away more times that I can remember, only to be dragged back home a few days later by the police.

Eventually my out of control behavior caught up with me, and as a last resort to straighten me out my parents sent me away to a boarding school for troubled girls in Boston. It was there that I realized just how lucky I really was, and how selfish I had been acting. Some of the girls there had no one and nothing but the clothes on their backs to call their own. One of the counselors there, named Rudy, took a special interest in my case and me. We started meeting together on a daily basis, and he set a goal for me to get my life together, and be back in regular school in time for graduation. To this day I’m not sure why Rudy chose to work so closely with me and not the other girls, but I couldn’t be more grateful that he did. Whenever i was having a hard time following the rules, or even just having a bad day, Rudy would always talk me through it. He was the only one I felt I could trust. He set up “incentive plans” for me, which were ways to reward me for good behavior. For example, if I didn’t get into trouble for twenty-four hours he would bring me my favorite candy or a soda, which at the time were delicacies as sugar and caffeine were not allowed. As time progressed I worked towards much larger rewards, such as being allowed to go home overnight to visit with my family. But most importantly, Rudy was someone I could trust when it seemed that everyone else was out to betray me. I knew that he would never judge me. He helped me slowly change from a mixed up adolescent, to someone that has goals, dreams, and a positive future. This process was the hardest test of courage I have endured to date, but I somehow managed to get through it and emerge a better person.

The day did finally arrive when I was deemed appropriate to return to my parents and live a normal life. But I wasnt so sure I’d make it, especially when I returned to my old high school that was struggling to clean up its student body drug problem. I was sure I would once again succumb to the evils of peer pressure, and end up back where I had started, nowhere. After i expressed these fears to Rudy, he understood, as he always did, and arranged for me to attend another high school where i could start fresh.

Upon entering the new school, I got off on the right foot. I signed up for sports, made new friends, and even graduated with a 3.0 gpa! I even started rebuilding my realtionship with my family. I never would have acheived anything good in my life If Rudy hadn’t taken tthe time to believe in me,and help me through the most troubled times I’ve faced so far.

It was Rudys courage and dedication to his work a a social worker that made me decide to major in psychology. I want to be able to help otheres the way he so selfishly helped me. I believe I too can and will make a difference in peoples lives, helping them to be happier, healthier, contributors of society.

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