One Quick Glance

Author: Alexander Tucker

An inspirational story submitted for the raffle held by ASNC. (one of the winners)

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

one One quick glance might tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the circumstances of my life. One could argue that I am not a socially or economically disadvantaged minority. However, personal pain and moments of support have all given me hope and intrinsic motivation to tackle each day with conviction and progress. What I seek is to become a psychiatrist and help people with mental illnesses.

one Once upon a Summer’s day, I was born. After several years, a psychologist diagnoses my older brother and me as autistic. The test result would indicate that I am moderately autistic with motor skill deficiencies, and my older brother severely autistic. My older brother isn’t supposed to function as a person in society, and I am not supposed to achieve much, let alone be an average student. A week later, my older brother and I are re-diagnosed as healthy, but that did not stop our parents from placing us in a special needs program for the majority of our education. That is not to say we did not have problems. I wrote slowly until one of my teachers focused on my abilities while my older brother had different disorders and quickly lost all interest in school. As time goes on, I work my best to enroll in general education and honors classes while my older brother transitions to resource classes. All I wanted was for others to see me as a normal person. When I began to associate with people who I considered “normal,” I stopped caring so much about school. In high school, I soon would involve myself in negative habits that then cause me to slack in my Sophomore year, and even worse in my Junior year when I took two AP classes. I failed both of the AP tests, and I became very miserable. I took time to myself, and I found out that I care about academics beyond using it to improve my social life. No one could trust me as a student, and I later notice that I can not even trust myself to carry out the promises and goals I make to myself.

one Once upon a Summer’s day, I take a two-week trip to Peru. I barely speak Spanish, but I go with my Grandma for two weeks to a Spanish-speaking country while my Grandma barely speaks English. The language barrier causes me to feel as isolated as I felt in special education classes in Elementary school, back when I used to develop a negative mindset about myself and avoid everyone else. One day, my Grandma leads me to her friend’s apartment so that she can create a remedy for herself. As I sit in the apartment and try to avoid falling asleep, the front door, the door right in front of me, opens. I was scared because I did not hear a knock or the sound of the door unlocking. On a side note, the apartments are in a ghetto area, so all of the doors have about three heavy-duty locks. Out of all Hispanics to enter through the door, a white ginger-haired man walks in with a blue bike. Although I only speak English, I knew I had to say something. I told him that he was in the wrong apartment, but then he speaks in clear English to tell me that he does not know why a stranger like me is in his home. His name is Diego, and his mother is a friend of my Grandma’s. After eleven days in Peru, I have never felt so shocked. We get along well, and I learn that he speaks four languages that he fluently taught himself. I tell him about my stresses, and he introduces me to a meditation book that he says he uses to control his discipline and focus.

one Ever since those encounters, I used the meditation practices the book prescribes to pass my senior year with all As while enrolling in five AP courses, two AP classes of which are self-taught. I excelled in eight courses by my second semester of high school despite the transition to online education from COVID. I want to continue the meditation, and I want to give proper diagnoses and treatment of people who suffer from mental illnesses as I did.

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