My Two Options.

by Kirill Sakharov

Thoughts about future life.

After a long summer in the dacha(my family's humble summer house in the St. Petersburg outskirts), a seemingly longer plane ride, and an extremely short night of sleep, I found myself standing in front of a classroom full of people whose faces I had never seen before. A few seconds earlier, my dad gave me a quick speech about courage and how this is the time to exercise it. I didn't understand why he said that, but before I even had the chance to consider it, he gave me a nudge and sent me through a door labeled 306. The teacher looked at me bewilderingly and then said something to me in gibberish. I could feel the stares of the students fixed firmly on me, and I can still remember the dominating feeling of nervousness and helplessness I experienced then.

That feeling occurred again only one other time, approximately eight years later. What led to those two feelings is fairly different, but the result was very much the same. The circumstances that lead to the first occurrence of that dreaded feeling were out of my control completely. So while I stood there, in front of the class, my options were limited. Option One was weeping and crying out to the world how unfair it was. Option Two was digging up courage and browsing deeply into my repertoire of English phrases and choosing "Mai nam iz Kirill" instead of "Hello", "Goodbai", and "Vere iz the bassroom?" Option one was clearly redundant, however, because the world would not understand me if I said "Kak vse nechestno!" No matter how much I wanted to say it and take that route, I realized that it would take me nowhere.

Eight years later, I stood in front of students whose faces I have never seen before, but this time the teacher speaks a language I understand. This time, I made the decision to be there, not my parents. The previous spring I looked deeply at myself and my surroundings, and similar to my parents eight years ago, saw that the current state of things had to change. I had to challenge myself and go to a new school that will give me a better opportunity to go to college instead of staying in a morass of laziness and stagnation. Thus, I made the transfer from Prospect Hill Academy to Arlington High School, leaving the familiar by will. And although the circumstances were different, I still had those two options, even though Option One was much more achievable than before, it didn't seem that way to me.

I could see a seventeen-year-old Russian boy named Kirill having a much harder time with his decision while switching schools back in Russia.

But it wasn't that hard a choice for me. It was Option Two in fourth grade, it is Option Two now, and will be Option Two the rest of my life.

Initially submitted at May. 05, 2005; 11:39

Nov. 20, 2017; 09:49 EST

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