Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Space & Perceptions

Growing up I lived a very separate life from my family. We had a four-story house in the city of Chicago and each one of us had our own space. I lived on the fourth floor and had the entire area to myself. My parents were on the 3rd, and our dogs roamed around anywhere they pleased. I learned at an early age that I had to be independent to survive in my family. We all had separate agendas and I usually did things on my own.

One thing that I was criticized for when I got to high school was the fact that we did not have family dinners. According to Stouffers commercials, having family dinners gets kids A’s. I got A’s and did not have family dinners, so Stouffers obviously didn’t get around to me for their “facts.” Even though my family did not eat together, it didn’t make us not a family and this gave me a good perception on the rest of the kids around me. I was independent at a young age, they were still holding mom’s hand.

Outside of this house was a very tight knit community of private school kids and parents. We all lived in about an 8 block radius, all around my high school Francis Parker. The area surrounding the school was called the “bubble” and it truly was as such. My living space affected my perception in many different ways. I only really knew the people from my school and in our neighborhood. I hardly ventured outside of Lincoln Park or downtown and rarely got to experience the rest of Chicago. This gave me a very close-minded atmosphere to live in. Everyone I knew was either middle or upper class, and so I never really got learn about the less fortunate side of the city of Chicago other then the homeless people in my neighborhood. This shows that the space you live in can really affect your perception of the rest of the world. All I saw growing up was privileged people with great lives, and people who were less seemed to just be an issue on the news. Although I knew this to be untrue, you are where you live. The people that surround you are the ones you will look up to and eventually even become, unless you get out early, and I learned this leaving for college.

Going out on my own was not very difficult. I am very close with my parents but events over the summer have made me separate myself more from them and their issues therefore making me even more independent than I was before. I still see those same private school kids I grew up with but it is refreshing to see the rest of the world displayed here as well. I truly believe college is the way to open up people's eyes to new perceptions, considering you meet people from all across the globe.

The space you create around yourself can have different outcomes depending on the situation. For me, pretty much being by myself with no siblings gave me a chance to see the world as my playground. For someone who lives with siblings, aunts, uncles & grandmothers, they could see the world as a much more crowded place. It all depends on what you know and how you came to learn about it.

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