Junior Grace Molloy won the essay contest at the 2015 Cardboard Box City, an event that raises funds for Family Promise of Monmouth County. Below is her award-winning essay.
The Stress of Having Less
By Grace Molloy ’17
What would life be like as a homeless teen? In today’s world I feel we often take for granted what we have. We are also blind to the challenges that some other people face right in our community. We can sometimes be ignorant to the fact that homelessness affects people of all ages in many places we are not even aware of.
For a teen in school there are many social pressures to dress a certain way or have certain things and teens who are homeless would not have the means to do that. Being homeless could be a major source of bullying and exclusion for a teen. I know personally, as a teen, I need my personal space to get away from my family and destress, and I am blessed enough to have a room of my own, where I can go to be alone. Homeless teens also do not have the space or means to do their homework, which could mean their grades and education would suffer. As a teen, we often feel our parents’ pain and understand their stress because we are old enough to comprehend what is happening and what our parents go through for us. Sometimes the stress of our parents can be put on us as teens, and so we have to be responsible for ourselves and sometimes the rest of our family as well, which would be made even harder by being homeless.
It would be hard to never get a good night’s sleep, meanwhile I sleep comfortably in my bed every night. I feel almost ashamed by how much I have and how I sometimes take it for granted. I cannot imagine living without the simple luxuries that myself and many other teens take for granted every day, so thinking that some people do not have anything reminds me that I need to be grateful for what I have. I believe life would be very challenging as a homeless teen due to the social pressures, lack of a private place to call their own, and the stress that can be put on them.