The Day Before Independence
June 25, 1986 was the last day of my childhood. I was 16 years old graduating from high school; the next morning I would be on a train going of to a college to a strange city, all by myself…This scenario might sound very appealing and fairly common to an American, but for a young girl born and raised in the Soviet Union this situation was scary and challenging. In Belarus (part of the former USSR) families stayed close together. Young people especially girls would go to a local college or university and continue living with their parents, until they got married. This kind of life had a lot of predictability, security, and stability. At the age of sixteen I was about to abandon that life and embark on an unpredictable journey to independence. The day before I became independent, the day of the graduation from high school, had also become the day of extreme emotional turmoil for me. It was a beautiful summer morning on June 25th 1986. The sky was blue, soft morning beams of the sun were passing fluffy rare clouds and warming cooled down over the night ground. Birdswere singing their joyful songs flying in front of my open window on the fifth floor. Everything outside seemed wonted to celebrate my graduation day, last day of my school life with my classmates. Life was about to change.
family and friends. I was about to enter new unfamiliar life without my parents in my sight in a huge city full of strangers.
My last walk to school was different from usual. To get there, I had to cross two large yards with the playgrounds between the apartment buildings. Usually it takes me five minutes to get to school but that day I did not harry, I was watching my younger friends playing outside and enjoying their vacation time, instead of joining me on my way to school. The official graduating ceremony was held outside in the yard, behind our school building. Everybody was festively dressed up. Girls graduates were wearing school...
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