What has affected my transition from childhood to adulthood? Responsibility!
At a very young age, I had to be responsible by taking care of my younger brother since my parents worked different work schedules and had little time to take care of my siblings.
When my older sister moved out of the house to attend a four-year college, I had to become more responsible and take over her role as the main caretaker of our family.
Starting when I was 7 years old, my parents worked in the evenings, seven days a week. Therefore, my older sister and I had to take care of one another as well as my younger brother.
Being at home was boring since every day was spent at home, including weekends. Our parents never had the weekends off, but when they had the chance we were very excited to spend quality time as a family. We usually went to Tri-Cities or Pioneer Park to play on the playground because my parents knew we wanted to be outdoors and be active.
To this day, my parents tell my siblings and me that they wish they had the opportunity to see us grow up and spend more time with us during our childhoods.
My older sister and I may not have realized what responsibility was when I was growing up, but I noticed my sister had more things to do than I had because she was older. By working together, my siblings and I built a close relationship by being together all the time and helping one another.
A time in my life that affected me personally was when I was in the eighth grade transitioning to high school. My sister graduated from high school and left for college. That year was a change not only for me, but for the family as well.
Before my freshman year started, I was very nervous about attending high school. I wanted my sister to guide me in my first year in high school because she had already gone through the experience, but she was not at home any more.
I then had to take on the role and responsibilities of my older sibling and be responsible for all her chores and pick up my brother after school. If my parents had to work late and didn’t have time to pay bills, they gave me money so I could go pay the bills for them.
There are times I had to baby-sit my cousins. This was a huge change for me because this was the role of my sister.
As a senior in high school I am now used to my responsibilities, but when I was in ninth grade it took a while to get used to those duties. There were times when I had to ask questions to make sure I wasn’t making any mistakes.
During my childhood, I always had help from my sister, and she told me her opinions whenever I doubted something. Later on, when she was at college, I had to take her role.
Because of those changes, I’ve learned to be independent. This will help me in the future, especially when I’m on my own when I attend college myself.
Responsibilities are a part of life that help a person grow up.
Liz Ortiz is a student leader and secretary of the Walla Walla High School Latino Club. The Wa-Hi senior is a participant in the AVID program, Link Crew leader and a volunteer for the Garrison Night School pre-literacy program. She plans to attend a state university next fall and major in nursing or physical therapy.