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  • miloandme05

My first time away from home

This summer, I was given the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. with the Miami Dade Youth Commission. It was so much fun and here is the best part: I went without my parents! Going on this trip without my parents was super scary. I was out of my mind excited, but the second my dad left the airport, I was terrified. I had never even had a sleepover away from home, so spending the night in a completely different state was a huge step. I didn’t know any kids on the trip with me, so I was starting on a completely blank slate. None of them knew me or knew that I had epilepsy. The first person I had to explain my epilepsy to was my roommate. Thankfully, she was super sweet, and I enjoyed rooming with her. This gave me more confidence about the trip; there were a lot of worries going on before, and this was a step in the right direction.

Not only was I scared that the kids wouldn’t be understanding, but I was scared of so many other things, especially airport security. For some reason, I was convinced that

airport security would flag me, arrest me, and send me off to some high security prison because of my medication. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. On the way back, though, I accidentally left a water bottle in my bag, and security was alerted. To say I was sweating would be an understatement. If I am being honest, tears were definitely shed on this trip. I was so scared that I didn't have anyone to lean on at the start. Eventually, I started to open up to everybody and felt so comfortable with everybody. They were all there for me and understood why this was such a scary experience. The nights at the hotel together were some of the most memorable of the trip. I felt like such a teenager if that makes sense. The trip was such a great experience. I learned so much about how our government works, which sparked an interest I didn’t know I had. I felt so much independence, and I am thankful my parents encouraged me to go. I formed great friendships and learned a lot about college and my future. I learned to open up and trust people, even when it seems scary. I can’t wait to go on my next trip, and who knows, maybe there will be some politics in my future.

See you next time!

- Sofi <3

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