Life is a journey full of tribulations. It is like a river flowing downstream but meeting many features such as a fall or even swampy areas where motion is really slow with all the sorts of animals in it. At times it will meet an industrialist who will discharge the waste of his industry into the water of the river. But remember where it originally emerged from, a clean spring high in the mountains, where it is very cool and the environment is not tampered with.
I was brought up in a family with a strong Christian background. My parents were very strict in bringing up their children with strong morals instilled in them. They demanded respect from their children and any sort of disobedience was not tolerated at all. They wanted their children to be of the right morals and highly disciplined.
I was a jolly, well disciplined kid in elementary school. A kid of exemplary discipline was highly recognized by the teachers in school. This made me a ‘teacher’s pet’. This meant that I would get special privileges that other students would not get. Being well disciplined was not the only thing that stole the teachers’ love towards me. I was also talented intellectually. I was able to grasp fastest in class than anybody else. I was able to do well in my tests and was able to scoop the best positions in our class.
With good performance throughout my elementary school, I was able to make it to high school. Joining high school was such an experience. High school life was quite different from elementary school. In high school, you were taken by the teachers as more mature and hence one was to take responsibilities as accorded. So one had to take charge but what is taking charge, anyway to a naïve mind?
The environment in high school was very different from that in elementary school. In elementary school, we had more time with the teachers which made the relationship between the students and their teachers stronger. In elementary school, teachers seemed to be our enemies. The students would always act in a rebellious manner towards the teachers.
This experience was quite flabbergasting to me. I had never before seen such conflict between teachers and students. The students also had some sort of freedom which also made me feel out of place. Discipline in high school was wanting. This was hell down on earth. I could not understand how students would treat teachers in such a disrespectful manner. I even saw some bully boys challenge a teacher to a fight insulting him all the vulgar words that I have ever heard.
But despite the very hostile environment exhibited to me in my junior years in high school, I cling to my morals and would not go beyond the limit. But what really made me cling to my moral was mostly out of fear. I was afraid of the big boys who were in their senior years. At times, they would beat up boys who were in their junior years if they crossed their paths. For instance, there was this party that we attended to mark a certain occasion. A certain boy who was in his first year thought that he was man enough to talk to a girl in the third year. He got the chance to utter a few words before he received a jab hard enough to break a skull but he was lucky enough that his did not break.
Life in high school was characterized with a lot of peer pressure as well as influence. With freedom at hand and also lots of free time, there was plenty of time for us to try out new things. We had parties in high school that were full of all the unpleasant things that one ever thought of. But most of all was drug abuse and sex. I had made friends that would later develop into a sort of a gang.
This would be the start of never ending problems. My peers were would always pressure me to try some new stuff that they would have purchased from the backstreets. At first, I was hesitant in trying to use drugs from the backstreets. Even using beer from the pubs had never been my idea. I wanted a drug-free life. I had never thought that I would heavily abuse drugs and this was the same pit that I was falling into.
To start with, we started with light drugs such alcohol and cigarettes. We would share a stick of cigarette among my friends. We would also buy some bottles of beer or even vodka and try it out at my buddies place. This seemed to be cool- being drunk or holding a stick- just seemed fine.
So who thought that a little experimentation would lead us to such big trouble? Being shallow-minded and hot blood running fast in our veins, we would try anything in this world that would take us ‘high’. So, we thought that some cocaine and some rolls of marijuana would actually solve the equation.
There was this party that was at one of my friend’s place. My peer had purchased like all the varieties of hard drugs at the backstreet. So that night was one of its kind. We smoked and sniffed drugs all night long. What resulted was so horrific to be mentioned to anybody. From there henceforth, our lives were more controlled by hard drugs and school life was not any of my interests anymore. Life in high became tougher as we constantly had issues with the administration.
In my final year in high school, I was involved with a certain fight. A boy of the second year was in conflict with one my friends. After we had fixed a joint, we unfortunately met the boy. We were extremely ‘high’. We beat up the boy. This led him to be hospitalized for broken limbs and ribs. Eye witnesses gave all information to the police and we were later arrested. Things got thick when police got illegal narcotics with us. We were later arraigned in court where we were sent to juvenile school. We had to undergo severe rehabilitation for an year and a half.
When I was in rehab, I realized myself- my old-self. The good person that I was before. So, I retraced my steps and tried to seek what had gone wrong. So, the issue was peer influence. I had lost my principles and left my life to be controlled by the environment. My friends took command of my life. My great dreams of being an economist had been shelved for unnecessary recklessness. It was so embarrassing for me.
I learnt that one has to know his priorities. Then grow a strong interest to your priorities and therefore cultivate for their realization. You should not let queer and unnecessary issues kill your dream. The challenge taught me a great deal of being strong in character and principles.
I have since graduated from college and working with a successful company. I have a lovely family which always sees the best man in the world to ever look upon. I am proud to say that I am leading a very responsible life.