Student struggles to balance expectations of her within different aspects of her life

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Student struggles to balance expectations of her within different aspects of her life

Nadya Buffum, Staff Writer

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Macy Katanga, a junior at Biddeford High School, has expectations that make her feel like she lives two lives.

Katanga wants to share her story, one that no one knows about.

Katanga comes from a big family that moved to the United States from Sudan after her parent’s fourth child. Her story is one that can sometimes be hard to understand, but it has made her the person that she is now.

She said that she lives the life of an African girl at home and just a regular girl at school. There are gender role expectations at home, different opinions on extra-curricular activities, and she deals with being the middle child.

“[At home I am] more ladylike than like a guy. [It is] mostly the girl’s job to do is cleaning and cooking,” said Katanga. “I kind of get irritated that the guys don’t have to do it.”

Although Katanga gets irritated, she says she “rebels” against those responsibilities because she is always off doing sports.

“My mom thinks I should stick to dance or something like track instead of playing basketball, because I get hurt,” said Katanga. “She doesn’t understand [that] I like doing stuff. I [like to] play aggressively.”

Although she is talented at dancing and singing, something her mom wants her to continue doing, Katanga does not want to do those as much as sports. She is well known from sports, so when she is at school she gets to be more like herself, even if she is not sure what that totally feels like.

“I act differently when I am at school than I would at home,” said Katanga. “People see me outside of school, but I am acting as if I was at home than at school. I find it kind of hard when they see me acting a different way than they would during school.”

Katanga says that being the middle child and oldest sibling in a family of 11 comes with a lot of responsibilities that can be stressful. This is because her parents have to work a lot.

“[I] mostly help out with homework, figuring out how they are getting to school and back, and making sure they’re up on time,” said Katanga. “I tackle [those responsibilities], by getting my homework done and helping my siblings with theirs.”

When Katanga was asked where she feels most like herself, she says that she cannot be herself because she is still trying to figure out who she is.

“Because I did not choose to live two different lives, the lives chose me,” said Katanga. “And if I did not dedicate myself, I really would not be able to find myself.”

Katanga currently is unsure what she wants to once she graduates. She said she is going to go with the flow and letting life lead its way for [her].

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