The following paper will be a personal reflection of what I have learned from this experience and give me the opportunity to look at my strengths and weaknesses so that I may grow.
My mom found this quote, read it to me and asked me to think about it. "My power lies in balance. I strive for equality and choose not to indulge in instant gratification at the expense of my purpose. I am responsible for my own decisions and take on only what I can handle based upon that which I value. I am empowered by choice and my asset is negotiation".
Unfortunately, easier said than done. The power of my peers always amazes me. Although some little guy in the back of my mind keeps telling me no, if I’m put around my peers who are “influencing me in a negative way”, I become a member of the pack. Putting myself in this situation can never have a good ending. I can have an absolute purpose in mind, but until now, it seemed to take a backseat in these situations.
It was going to be a boring Friday night. Just the thought of sitting at home watching some old rerun with my mom wasn’t my idea of fun. But earlier, I had an invite from a friend to a birthday sleepover. I found myself getting an address and saying I'll see you around 8.
At home I get on Facebook to see who all is going to be there. The more I read, the more I know I shouldn't be attending this gathering. It has become more than a sleepover. I know there will be no supervision at the party, but I am definitely not thinking ahead or about any silly consequences. For now, this just doesn’t matter to me.
I tell my mom; of course, it is still a sleepover for one of my friend’s birthday. I get her to drop me off before she has to go pick up my sister at work. She grills me about the fact I haven't brought a sleeping bag, change of clothes or pj's. I tell her girls don't do that at sleepovers anymore, “We'll just stay up all night playing video games, dancing, doing each other's nails and talking". I can tell she is skeptical, but I remind her she is going to be late to pick up my sister so she leaves saying she had better not get a call later about getting in trouble.
Later on that night, she got that midnight call. There were boys and alcohol and no adults. A neighbor who was obviously fed up had called the police and about seven police cars showed up. When my mother came to pick me up, I wasn't drunk, but I had a couple of sips off a mixed drink so I blew a .001 something. Just enough to get a MIP (minor in possession) ticket.
After receiving my ticket the policeman talked to me letting me know that yes I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and it only takes one sip of alcohol to get an M.I.P. He told me that he knows I’m a good girl and that next time I will make a wise decision about when I need to leave a bad situation. Soon realizing that I was going to receive a ticket, I knew the consequences were going to be harsh.
No big deal right? WRONG! You can never know how wrong unless you've been through a situation like this one. It has turned my life upside down. You see, I'm a cheerleader. Being a cheerleader means I'm an athlete and athletes cannot use tobacco or consume alcohol (in any amount).
So not only did I receive a huge fine of $775.00, but I had to attend a drug & alcohol class (another $50.00), do 8 hours community service, and stay out of ANY trouble for a year or face possible jail time and additional fines. Since my school was notified, I am now facing a suspension from the one thing I enjoy out of life most. Thinking about the quote my mother gave me earlier; so was it worth it? Did I learn anything? The small amount of instant gratification (having a good time and partying with my friends) was not worth the outcome: the expense of my purpose. Did I learn anything? Yes. I am responsible for my own decisions. I am empowered by my choices and should base my choices on what I value. Next time I find myself making a choice, I will look