By: Ben Klein
My mom’s diagnosis with breast cancer caused significant changes in our house. For example, during the process of chemotherapy, my parents would often spend evenings away from home for the treatments. This meant that I would be alone for hours on end, which, while admittedly enjoyable at first, eventually proved to be a burden due to the loneliness I felt. However, nothing could come close to seeing how my mother struggled throughout the process of chemotherapy. The toll that the treatments took on her physically was immense. The loss of her hair could not be ignored, but paled in comparison to how little stamina she had. It felt as though she could barely make it her daily routine, let alone take care of our home as she had before. By far, the worst part was the emotional impact. Although we were confident in her surviving the disease, we still stressed about the ordeals surrounding it. No experience I have had in my life could possibly compare to the moment where my mom started crying in front of me because of how much she dreaded the loss of her hair. Fortunately, she went into remission, and is in great health nowadays.
When I had first heard that my family was going on the trip to Ocean City, I had some reservations, since I would have to take all my final exams a week early, and miss my friend’s graduation party. Once we got there, however, my doubts quickly faded as I looked out the car window at the unique buildings that bordered the street, and the view of the ocean from our condo balcony complemented the purpose of the trip: to take a break from the stress of daily life. After we settled into our condo, we left for our first dinner with all of the other participants in the retreat. Although I may not be able to remember what we had to eat, I do remember enjoying the sense of solidarity with the other families in the room. On the second day, the games we played with everyone else were fun, even if I felt a bit embarrassed by my parents’ attempts at some of them. Later that evening, we joined everyone for a buffet dinner, which tasted pretty nice. The day after that, the trip to the water park was thrilling, and made even better by the lack of lines. Although I did not participate in many group activities afterwards, I still had a blast on the boardwalk. Overall, I felt that the trip to Ocean City provided something much needed to my family: a break from the stresses of daily life.
I intend to go to college in order to develop as an individual in terms of my skills, independence, and identity. My education during high school, while a solid base, has lacked in certain areas. For example, I feel as though during my videography classes, I have not gained as deep of an insight into the techniques used in the filmmaking process as I would like. Considering the level of specialization in the classes taken at the college level in order to successfully major in Communications, I doubt that I would feel lacking in knowledge of a particular subject. Additionally, I also feel as though I lack in my self-care at times because of my dependence on my parents. When I begin college, I will be forced to learn how to fend for myself, and teach myself independence in the process. As well, during high school, people are pigeon-holed into what people have known them as, and ridiculed if they try to change. On the other hand, college is a new start for many, so students attending college like myself would be able to explore who they are with less scrutiny.
By: Ben Klein