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Sam's Story

Phoenix, Arizona USA

"In middle school, I had decent grades, even though my academics sucked. And, my parents acknowledged my poor academic performance, as well as my right to privacy, a right to action, a right to free choice, and, moreover, the right to life.

But then, in high school, my life was in utter chaos. I had long-term depression throughout my time in high school, from sophomore year to senior year. The stress of high school was weighing me down. My homework schedule was that much worse. My parents kept repeating the same phrase over-and-over, 24/7, from the beginning of sophomore year to the beginning of the senior year: 'I don’t care what you say or what you do.' 


In my head, that translated to 'I don’t care about you at all.' I felt almost abused by my parents, like all of the love I had received from them had no meaning. I couldn't really do what I liked either. My high school and overall perspective on life was horrible.


To top it all off, my brother wanted to gain a stronger relationship with me, but the last time my father and brother came in contact, I overheard them arguing about my father not taking enough care of my brother. That was the last inch of love I felt from my family.

But then, senior year came, and I was accepted to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the exact place where I wanted to go and fit in with such a diverse population of teens and young adults; where I could grow stronger bonds and gain a stronger relationship with all my siblings (two older sisters and one older brother) and their families.


Finally, after 3 long years of seemingly-unending torment, I felt the love from my parents. The thing was beginning to look up to me, and I felt joy: joy I had never felt since I was a baby."

Story & Photo By: Tiffany Palm, Grand Canyon University Campus Representative

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