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Teen Voice - 02/10/2013

updated: Feb 09, 2013, 2:00 PM

By Kelsey Abkin

Growing up I was always trapped in khaki and lovingly shoved into a world of high education and a lot of excess. Up until I was 14 I lived in a picturesque neighborhood strongly resembling those on Disney Channel movies, and after that I moved into the lavish world of Montecito. You could say, without a doubt, that I have grown up privileged. Now, I don't mean privileged as in owning million dollar mansions, but privileged as in I never once carried the anxiety of uncertainty. The point of this comprehensive description of my background is not to boast on how blessed I feel to be fortunate (although I do), but instead to acknowledge the dangers of a childhood such as this.

Growing up I've learned to expect that spending summers in France was normal, that Ivy League schools were realistic possibilities, and that one day I would have a beautifully restored 5-bedroom, 5-and-a- half bath home in a historic, tree-lined community. These expectations are comforting and I do still believe that they carry some truth, but they also carry the curse of lacking motivation. I see people all around me graduating High School only to take "the year off" and before they know it they have spent five years partying in their parent's guesthouse. This is the danger of high expectations; the idea that life lacks a worst-case scenario and no matter what, there always is someone/thing to fall back on. There are many times I slip up and find that I too believe that my fortunate childhood experience will automatically follow me into adulthood, and although this is a consoling thought, it is also one of high risk.


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