Do As You Are Asked to Do

By Shanice, age 15, South Africa
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

I remember the first day I sold myself away. I was eight and there had been karate classes going on at my school. I didn't want to go for them - my dad insisted. I had always wanted to make my parents proud of me. Back then, and even now, I loved the praise.

Because I knew my dad would be proud of me, I went for the classes. I was told that I fought like I was dead. And in a way, I was.

I really didn't care much for karate. I did it, but without much interest.

The next time I did what my parents wanted me to do was when I was ten. My granddad had died and I had no transport to go to school and nowhere to stay once school was over. My parents asked me to change schools, and as my aunt was a teacher in the school and my two cousins were in the school, it was expected that I would agree. So I agreed. Again, I didn't want to, but I saw no other choice.

I struggled to fit in at my new school and my grades dropped. I remember so very clearly my aunt walking home with me, telling me how I was ruining her name at school because of my poor grades. I still bear resentment towards her for that comment.

Eventually I got the hang of the school and managed to return to my usual 'all-A' report. When the deputy principal found out about my relation to my aunt, he told her how she should be so proud of me. It felt as if I was finally being recognized and I loved it.

When I reached high school, I came across a girl who saw me writing a composition for English. She enjoyed the composition, even if my English teacher didn't. It was then that I began writing, and I loved it.

Then it came time to choose courses for grade ten. I knew that, no matter what, I wanted to be an author or a journalist. So I took the easiest subjects available. Unfortunately, my cousin (whose mum had expressed how I ruined her name at school) had just finished her grade twelve year. And she didn't do as well as her mother expected.

I was forced to attend an 'intervention' (that's the only way I can describe it) where my aunt's family - her husband and herself - told me how Journalism isn't a very practical career. I changed my course, unwillingly, to S7 (Maths, Physics, Accounting, and Bio), a course taken mainly by those who want to get into the medical field.

My grades dropped again, and I've been fighting to keep them up. My aunt suggested I quit writing until they pick up again. I refused.

Writing was the only thing in my life that I did simply because I enjoyed it and not because someone else told me to do it. There was no way I would give it up.

Maybe I won't be able to pick my grades up, maybe I don't have what it takes to have a career as a writer. What I do know is that I will NEVER, EVER stop writing.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
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