i tried to be normal
I was home schooled all the way up to the day I graduated. Ever since the beginning, my family and myself have lived differently. We chose to go against the grain and throw out this idea that in order to be socialized individuals, we have to do things a certain way. That in order to become civilized citizens, we had to follow a set of man-made rules, laws, and ideas that were sure to produce the perfect socialized genius.
My mom and dad wanted a different life for my brother, sister, and myself. They wanted to cultivate dreamers, thinkers, doers, independent individuals; and ultimately...God followers. Even if they were to fail at everything else, their main goal was to lead us towards the one true God. And, well, I think they did a pretty good job at instilling in us all of the above.
So, yeah, my siblings and I are labeled unconventional and anti-social based on the mere fact that we were home schooled since age 4. But, the people that have placed us inside the confounds of these four walls--based on the way we were raised and educated--fail to realize that because of our chosen lifestyle--and our mom and dad's sacrifice--we have the drive, motivation, courage, and perseverance to go the distance.
Yeah, we usually have to study harder than most. We pay for our own phone, gas, and insurance...plus, car repairs. But we know the value of hard work, as well as how easy the money you make can leave your hands. We may not be the coolest people to hang out with because we tend to think before we act. And, yeah, we tend to take our work and personal lives very seriously. So what?
There's more to life than living by the playbook. Life is not a game of Football! Life doesn't have a manual that gives you different plays that'll allow you to skim by life without having to do hard things...or suffer consequences. Playing it safe and waiting for things to happen rarely ever gets you where you want to go in life. For me, personally, I see life as being more like a game of Risk. While you don't take your safety for granted, you allow yourself to take risks (a new job, renting your first apartment, etc.)--knowing that you might fail--so that you allow yourself to grow.
Life is harder being a home-schooler who doesn't go by the rules or play the game of life as though I have forever to live. Thanks to the prayers and guidance of my parents, I am a born-again believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ! And being a girl born and raised to think beyond the confines of how the world tells me I should be, act, and think, I do worry (at times) about stepping out on my own--taking that risk--and entering into a world of concrete walls. To a University...a place that feels like it's main goal it to put a round pegs into a square hole. Where they say they encourage individualism, but try to mold or remold your way of thinking (i.e. your beliefs, morals, ethics, etc.) to fit this mold of being a politically-correct pawn of societal upbringing.
I have been in college for 6+ years. I have heard it all before. If you don't "think" a certain way, or believe certain things, or act a certain way...you're unconventional. You don't fit into this idealistic expectation that you feel society expects of you.
So, during my first couple years of college, I tried to be normal. I tried to cater to the professors beliefs and convictions. Granted, it worked. I got good grades, that's for sure. But, I felt like I was writing about things I didn't identify with or believe.
After trying to be someone I wasn't I decided that I would try being myself for a change. No, I didn't write papers bashing homosexuality, or abortion, or why I am a Republican vs. Democrat. But when I was myself, I found that I wrote essays with more conviction. Looked forward to going to college more than I ever had before. Left behind this need to fit in; to be accepted; to be normal. And I had fun!
I am scared to death of going to a University. Not because I am afraid I will loose myself. But, because I am outside my comfort zone. On a liberal campus. And will--probably for the first time--have to defend my beliefs. But hat is life without risk and individuality, right? In order to see where life will take you, you kind of have to step out in faith. I just thank God I don't have to put my faith in society during the course of this new and strange adventure; instead, I will cast my cares on the Lord.
And when He leads, I will follow. Because, to me, that's the most sincerest form of individualism and self-expression--to walk the path that the Lord has put before me. To place all that I am at the feet of Jesus and wholly trust that His plans are to "prosper [me] and not to harm [me]", and that He has "plans to give [me] hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
Note: My beliefs reflect solely on my own convictions and experienced. I am entitled to my opinion.