Advanced Essay #1: When Life Happens

The goals I set for this essay was to try and dig for deeper life lessons than the surface lessons that were obvious. Secondly I wanted both of my memories to happen recently so I could be as vivid as I could with the memories. By the memories being so recent to my life I could remember sensory details and be completely honest rather than having to piece together old things that I didn't really remember. Ultimately I am very proud of my bigger picture because I think that its something that people don't really acknowledge and end up feeling lost when life does happen. 

When Life Happens 

As I was staring out the window, I could see the streets flooding with brown water. The water had become brown from the runoff from a construction sight from a few miles behind. It was pouring. I felt the train slowing down since the last stop and then it came to a complete stop in a heavily wooded area. A few seconds later, the loud speaker came on and the conductor said, “Folks, we can no longer move forward due to flooding on the tracks.” I had already been on this train for three hours going on four. After the announcement went off, all the passengers who had to sit in the cafe car just like me, could feel the annoyance level skyrocket. Nobody knew how long we would be waiting but all I knew was that I was going to get all my homework done.

This was the first time I had been a situation like this by myself. I am usually with someone else but there was no one I knew that was on the train with me. It was a major experience where I had to be responsible of my safety and be able to stay calm. Being responsible meant that I had to keep my parents updated with the status of my train and staying aware of my surroundings. Although I was slightly worried that I was going to have to sleep on the train, I remained calm.

Early that week I had another life experience that I clearly remember going like this. “Ding, ding, ding, dIng,” is what you could hear Ms. Diane saying over the loudspeaker. This was the fire drill my physics teacher had informed us on minutes before. I grabbed my phone and proceeded to the hallway as other classes flooded the same direction as me. Although I was warned and was told that we were going to have the drill, I was still caught off guard. It was just one of those things you can never really prepare for in your mind. Once we got to the end of the hallway, we made a left turn to a side stairway that was steep. It was dark and cool as we walked down the steps but as we got closer to the bottom, I could see how bright it was outside. When I got to the bottom of the steps, I could feel the sun on my face and instantly knew that this fire drill was going to be miserable.

Fire drills may not seem like something big, but it's always a good example of being prepared just in case life happens. I am not sure how I will act if there was actually a fire but what I can say is the I know the plan to get out safely. I have been doing fire drills since I started school and I never really took the time to think about why they were so important. Now being the young adult that I am, it is just another way of schools preparing us for life.

Being put into situations like being caught in a storm and having the fire drill were two totally different experiences but very relatable. Both of these experiences taught me to be prepared for the anything, even for the worse. Thinking back to when I was stuck on the train, I remember my mom kept texting me about if my phone was dying. Just imagining what it would have been like if my phone had died would’ve been terrible. I would not have had a way to contact any of my family to tell them that I was stuck. Everyone would have be worried about why I was not answering the phone and if something had happened to me. Although nothing went wrong during the fire drill, it still helps me stay prepared for the worse. If there ever was a fire in school, I would know the safest route to get out. My teacher made it very clear about which way to go and even where to go after I got outside.

The bigger picture to both of these memories is that if I stay ready, I won’t have to get ready. In life, you never know what is going to happen next and sometimes things can happen and change your life forever. Although we all like to believe that we have total control over our lives, sometimes life happens. You can't control what things happen but you can control how you react and deal with things. For instance, when I was stuck on the train, I couldn't control the water flooding but I could control how I reacted and how I was going to deal with the situation. It's important to make the best decision possible when things come up because they might have long term effects.