As Free As A Bird


Sona Shaik, Reporter

The sun is glistening. The streets are noisy and filled with cars. Everyone is in a rush. People are going to work, eating out, dropping their kids off, shopping, running errands. Yet there is a girl walking beside her parents on what seems like a fairly normal day.

But her world is at a standstill.

Droplets of sweat roll down her neck.

No one knows what she is about reveal. Sona has been guarding this secret for years, waiting for the right opportunity to reveal it to the world.

She is going to be a senior in high school and is going through the motions that every seventeen year old applying for college must go through. She feels stressed and anxious. She feels like she needs to have everything planned out, when in reality she has no idea what she’s doing.

She has a good GPA. She has good test scores. She has good grades.

But for what?

Despite all the work she had done, her future was already chosen for her.

Engineer or doctor. Those were the options she was given. No one asked her what she thought or how she felt. Or maybe they did, but she was too scared to tell.

She loved to write. She loved to read. She loved movies.

Those are just hobbies they said, not sustainable careers. She listened to their harsh words for a long time, but today would be different.

Her legs were shaking as she walked alongside them on that bustling street, she felt like she was swimming in a pool of sweat, blood was rushing to her brain, her lips quivered as she spoke. Her words were at the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t find the strength to say them.

But this time she would speak and they would listen.

She looked into their eyes, her mouth suddenly felt dry, but somehow she mustered up the courage to finally tell them.

Her voice was shaky as she quietly murmured, “I don’t want to be a doctor or engineer”.

There was silence.

“I want to study and pursue a career in film”, she said.

Silence, again.

She was scared of their response. After all, what she wanted was vastly different than the life her parents had dreamed for her. But she cherished this moment of freedom because at that moment, she felt free as a bird amidst those crowded, busy streets.