The truth is that no one person or place prepares you for life on the outside. A lot of people may say that their four years in high school were some of the best years of their lives but for many it was hell. The way my mind is set up is that it looks for the flaws in everyone and everything before even getting near the positives. I believe that’s why the bad memories tend to out shine the good. The memories from high school I’m left with are both good and bad, if you ask anyone that is the same answer you’ll receive. No one person can say an entire period in time was perfect the same goes for an entire period of time being awful.
I’ll remember the stress where every night I was up until god’s hour nearly yanking my hair from the roots. I’ll remember staying in every night of the week because I never made the lasting friendships others had made in kindergarten and the preceding years. I’ll remember feeling so low and down in the dumps that I didn’t know how I would crawl out. What was it all for? I’ve never in my life received recognition for something, academically speaking. I don’t have any of those plaques with my name engraved or even a certificate saying, “You Did It!” Luckily, if you can even call it luck, I discovered early that life is unfair and not all that it’s cracked up to be. I know in the future I’ll make mistakes both big and small and I’m not afraid. Whether or not I receive recognition for my actions or not I’ve discovered it doesn’t matter. If there is one thing I’ll remember most from my experiences here, it’s that I now know how to stand on my own two feet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” High school has taught me that in order to succeed I need to believe in myself no matter how cheesy that may sound. If I do then I’ll succeed even if there is no one around to acknowledge it, it doesn’t matter. My entire life been leading up to this point, leaving the past behind and start out on my own path. At eighteen adults expect us to know where we want to go in life and what we want to do, but what they don’t understand is that most of us have no idea. I have an idea of where my path may lead, but in reality four years down my path could have so many twists and turns that I end up on the complete opposite side of where I believed I was meant to go. I have no idea if high school has helped or hurt my future but one thing I do know is that it doesn’t matter; when I arrive on my college campus in the fall what happened or didn’t happen in high school won’t matter. College is a fresh start, one I can’t wait to experience.
There were many individuals throughout my high school career that had an effect on how my life turned out. They helped me find myself through help and hurt I was able to rise up. The memories I will cherish the most don’t have much to do with the friendships I made with students but more along the lines of the respect I gained for my teachers. Many of the teachers I had really got to know their students. They didn’t pressure us into doing something out of our reach, instead they guided us along the path above what we imagined we could ever do. They knew what it meant to be a teacher. In my opinion an effective teacher does not just teach the material, they live and breathe the material so to speak, they explode with passion in the classroom, they make you want to learn.
There was one teacher in particular I’d like to thank. This teacher helped me find a place where I felt like I belonged and I’ll be eternally grateful. He gave me the strength I needed and the courage to stand up for something worth standing up for. Because of him I was able to meet a group of people who are passionate about the same things I am, I want to say thank you for not only pushing me out of my shell, but showing me that there’s more to life then hiding in the corner, sheltered from reality.
I wouldn’t do anything differently, if I did then I wouldn’t be the person I am today nor would I become the woman I hope to be. The decisions we make in life help to shape us into the people we will become. No matter how many wrong decisions I make for every right one there’s a silver lining.