Do Something Essay

Submitted By tkarnes
Words: 1855
Pages: 8

Tyler Karnes
Doug Corbitt
Honors Core I: First Paper
8 October 2013
Do Something To the young man with the dark hair, the playful smirk, and the athletic attire, I want you to know I overheard what you said when our psychology teacher mentioned depression and counseling. I heard your sarcasm, and I know it was only a joke, but I want you to be aware. We have never spoken and have only noticed each other briefly in passing, but I want you to hear my story just as I heard theirs. The occasion was more bitter than sweet. It was late on a Friday night, we were exhausted from another long day, and we just wanted to get some sleep. But if we were really honest with ourselves, we just didn’t want to accept that it was our last night together. I took another look around the now-familiar room, crowded with sixty-three other guys. One by one they hesitantly stood to say goodbye, and I waited anxiously for my turn. My heart was racing. What could I say? A short but long seven days ago all of those guys had been complete strangers. As I stood to speak, all eyes on me, I remembered my apprehension – my fear – I had felt prior to Missouri Boys State. I thought everyone would be weird, and I would be an outcast, just another regular misfit like I had been so many other times. Somehow, though, those strangers ended up like brothers. That room, originally so intimidating with its gray stone wall and peaked ceiling, was now home. I belonged in Carnahan City. I momentarily struggled to find my words, to express what I was feeling as accurately as those before me had, but when I began to speak it felt natural to give my fellow Carnahanians a heartfelt goodbye. I told them the truth. “Every morning I wake up in the worst mood. My first thought is that I could be in Florida right now. I gave up a two-week vacation for this. But somehow, by each night, I’ve ended up in the best mood. I know this isn’t because of journalism school, or running to colors, or being yelled at to ‘hustle’ by the counselors. I’ve decided it has to be because of you guys.” I saw understanding on each face around me as my new friends nodded their agreement. I went on to tell them about my favorite song, “Careful” by Paramore. I explained how it was my inspiration to come to Boys State and how it got me through my initial fears. “The chorus has basically become my motto: ‘You can’t be too careful anymore when all that is waiting for you won’t come any closer. You’ve got to reach out a little more.’ It let me know that it’s okay to take risks and go after what I want.” After talking for a few more minutes, I sank back into my metal folding chair, suddenly embarrassed. I had been more open than I had intended to be. Speeches continued after mine. It was now after midnight, and the later it got, the more open the guys became. Two seats down from me, a thin, dark-haired, perpetually nervous boy named Drake told us a bit about his past: He moved a lot as a child, and he never could make friends at new schools. He said he was afraid he would meet with the same reaction there, but he hadn’t. Carnahan City was a place without judgment and discrimination. We didn’t care about race, social standing, athletic abilities, orientation, or anything else that sets us apart in society. There, we were equal. I don’t think it had really hit any of us how true that was until Drake spelled it out for us. Things got even deeper as Cole, the funniest guy I had ever met, blew us all away. Throughout the week he had mentioned living with his grandparents. He had told us he wanted to be something. Even more, he wanted to prove to his parents that he could be something. I wasn’t prepared to him say what he told us that night though. I can still hear his voice, normally so vibrant and confident, trembling with contained emotion. “When I was in second grade, my dad beat me so bad [sic] that my face was so swollen I couldn’t see. I went to