I figure I’d better sketch out some details here to start with. I’m sixteen years old and I just completed my sophomore year at a very very very very small high school in Oregon. The current major event in my life is my coming exchange to Belgium next year, which I’ll explains more of later. I excell in sports and academics, albeit in a fairly relaxed setting(1A HS). I start at RB and LB in 8-man football, forward in basketball, and have been known to occasionally throw a pointy metal thing and chuck discuses(discucae?) during track season. The student body nominated me for the only job on the student council (treasurer) that actually constitutes daily duties. Bad luck that one. I was formerly extremely introverted until massive amounts of alcohol, some foreign exchange student friends (not necessarily together) plus some personal resolve, managed to reverse that. My small school is not a private one, instead it’s fitted to an equally small town where most of my family lives. (My family is quite large; it fielded the entire starting varsity girl’s basketball team one year) It’s also provided at least 10 1A All-State football players. Three Best Defensive POTG, One offensive, and the MVP award in the annual East-West Allstar game. A dozen or so valedictorians and salutatorians too. Which means that all my cousins have high-tailed it out of this stagnant old logging town and made for either the Willamette Valley or the metros of California. I love and cherish my multitude of cousins, I love each and every one of them. Well, most of the time. I have 3 brothers, one who died last year in a car accident when his disabled friend was driving. It’s been especially hard on my mother. My parents are semi-educated but their paychecks don’t seem to benefit from it. They’re separated(I live with my mom) and both make little enough to qualify me for all the financial aid I’ll ever need. I’ve worked every summer since I was 13 and I’ve made minimum wage EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Believe me, when I say the novelty has worn off. I’m working 40 hours right now(4 tens) which has allowed me to finance my exchange myself. I’ve tried to keep my parents out of it. They’ve got little enough as it is. As it is now past midnight there’s only 40 days until I board a plane at Portland(then hit some connecting flights during my 1 1/2 days in flight) and disembark in Brussels, Belgium. That’s my life as it stands right now. I don’t believe I’ve quite fucked it up yet, but time will tell. Will I realize my dreams? i hope so. Will I be a moral, ethical, and upstanding citizen? Probably not. The question you probably want to ask is: when will I stop rambling? My fingers are tired and a pot of coffee is trying to make me go to sleep (yes sleep) so I’ll vote for right now.
Found this while digging through the recesses of my internet past. I was 16, just about to leave for Belgium on my first foreign exchange with Rotary International. Five years sure do go by quickly.