Free Essay Sample: What had to be done

At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. My dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. He’d hurt my mom physically and mentally, and my brother Jose and I had shared the mental strain. It’s what had to be done.

For a few years, the quality of our lives started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me, but our prosperity was short-lived as my stepdad’s chronic alcoholism became more recurrent. When I was eight, my younger brother Fernando’s birth complicated things even further. As my step-dad slipped away, Fernando’s care was left to Jose and me. I cooked, Jose, cleaned, I dressed Fernando, and Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do.

I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself.

Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix bikes, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money my mom had to spend raising me.

I worked hard to earn straight A’s, I shattered my school’s 1ooM breaststroke record, and I learned to play the oboe. I tutored kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. As the captain of the water polo and swim team, I’ve led practices, and I became the first student in my school to pass the AP Physics 1 exam.

I’ve done tons, and I’m proud of it.

But I’m excited to say there’s so much I have yet to do. I haven’t danced the tango, solved a Rubix Cube, or seen the World Trade Center. And I have yet to see how Fernando will grow.

I’ll do as much as I can from now on. Not because I have to.

Because I choose to.