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The summer I turned 16 I was convinced my parents hated me. I had just finished my sophomore year, celebrated my birthday, was about to get my driver's license & gone to the junior prom with my new boyfriend - life was wonderful. My parents decided to move us from Chicago's northwest side, the only home I had ever known, to the suburbs in search of a single family home in a wonderful neighborhood and school district. Their search landed us in north Hoffman Estates - a mere 27 miles away but it may as well have been the other side of Earth to a teenage drama queen. I was happy in my little, diverse part of the world.
Always a solid honor roll student I had no plans to go away to college; it just was not on my radar. My parents and most of my family worked for the Chicago Transit Authority and my neighborhood was filled blue collar people. I figured I might take a few classes while working as a secretary, like my mother had done. I had no college example and my dreams only reached where I could see. Not until I arrived at a high ... more
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