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“We have to stay here to finish out the school year. We can move in the summer when things are calmer.” My father’s soothing voice penetrates the front door, signaling that my mother is not in a good mood. I inhale sharply before turning the doorknob.

I dodge the boxes that litter the entry. The walls shine from a still-wet coat of white paint. The lemon floor cleaner floats in the air, even though the tile is covered with boxes, pans, and paint buckets. Both my parents simply sit on the kitchen floor.

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“We have to move”, my mother speaks with the haste of a child .

My father counters, ”I agree, but it would be best for us to get the details worked out before we start packing.”

“I’m not packing, I’m organizing.” My mother assures.

At this point, my mother’s bipolar takes control, so all hope of reasoning with her is lost.

For the next few days, my family carefully wades over the newly formed egg shells.

A week later, my dad, mom, brother, and I sit down to talk about moving.We all agree it is best to leave our current city for a better life.The school district where we live is below par and is considering having me skip another grade. Also, my dad had been falsely accused of some crimes a year earlier and our house burned down in a fire recently. All of us know that our life here is not a hopeful one.

I jump online, trying to find the perfect place to base our new lives around. Poll after poll I notice that two cities keep appearing: Middleton and Madison, WI. I research these cities to see if they could be right for my family. Surrounded by lakes, having all four seasons, a great school system, and a safe area; It is perfect. I show my parents my life plan that I construct around Middleton High School and UW-Madison, making sure to use my puppy eyes.

Six months later, I am hauling boxes into our new apartment.That day my life plans begin to fall into place.

Now I have a chance to complete my goals from the seventh grade. In a year, my bike tires may guide me through the UW campus, as I swerve to my classes. Jumping around in my Badger gear after every third quarter will be natural. The Socratic Society and Badger Yearbook will empower me, just as becoming a Writing Fellow will allow me to blossom as an advisor.

The University of Wisconsin has been my light at the end of the tunnel for years. I am now ready to walk into that light with confidence and poise.

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