Do As You Are Asked to Do
By Shanice, age 15, South Africa
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
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.