Many of us struggle in high school trying to figure out who we are, building relationships, coming into adulthood. It isn't easy. It's hectic. It's messy. It's draining and exhausting in every sense of the word.
High school was one of the worst experiences of my life.
First, the struggle was that I wasn't feeling challenged in my classes (aside from math, but that is an entirely different story). I felt that the teachers on campus were only there so that they could get a decent paycheck. I had friends (and some amazing ones), but I was never in the popular crowd -- I was stuck.
I wasn't happy.
A friendship-turned-relationship had fallen apart. It was my first taste of pure heartbreak. I was sinking into the first major depression of my life. I felt alone, unwanted and lost.
Teachers didn't seem to care at all -- few people reached out to me to see if I was okay. And on the rare occasion that I did open up and tell someone what I was struggling with, I got the classic "Things aren't that bad" or "You're fine."
That didn't help. In fact, a lot of times it made things even worse.
I don't remember a lot of my high school experience because I blocked most of it out. To this day, there are still memories that I don't even know if they are real or if they are just some pieced-together dream. Later on, I learned that blocking things out was my way of coping.
On top of not feeling like the teachers and staff cared about their students, not being challenged in my classes (or really learning in some of them), I was dealing with a few health issues of my own. I knew that there were some things that were not right. I knew that my eating habits were not right. I struggled (and I still do today) -- and then I finally mustered up what little courage I had to get help...
Only to be told that there wasn't a thing wrong with me and that my eating habits were that of a "normal teenage girl." That was something that I hope no one ever has to deal with. It was obvious that she felt there wasn't anything "wrong" with me -- but many people in my day-to-day life were starting to notice the behaviors and the weight loss.
I never went back to get help for that. That experience scarred me for life.
I went to the doctor for help because I knew I needed it -- only to be torn down and feel like no one believed me. I was in and out of therapy/counseling but I hated it -- I had a hard enough time opening up to my few close friends, so how was I supposed to open up to a complete stranger? Even these memories are fuzzy and most of them blocked out only to resurface years down the road and send me into a spiral of confusion.
Around that time, my mother began to have some of her own health issues. I didn't understand at that point in time what panic attacks were or how they happened but all I knew was that my mother was in and out of a local hospital to get help.
I missed a lot of school.
I sank back into a depression and began to struggle with my own anxiety. We moved a few times and my grades dropped lower and lower, but I didn't care at that point. I hated high school. I hated life and what it had turned into. I had no motivation.
In many ways, I felt like a failure -- but how was I supposed to feel encouraged and like I could get through this in a school where so few cared? How was I supposed to figure out what I wanted out of life or to build relationships when everything around me had begun to fall apart?
I couldn't. So I stopped trying.
I was transferred to a new school the summer of what would have been my junior year of high school. The first day of school was September 11. As if starting at a new school wasn't hard enough, now I was sitting in my grandmother's living room watching everything play out.
The new school wasn't much better -- again, I struggled to fit in, and the classes didn't challenge me. Teachers didn't care and I struggled to get through, but somehow I made it. I made it until I realized that something had to change.
That change was leaving high school altogether and working on my GED. I started off at a local adult education center, but the structure of the class didn't work well with me so I moved around a bit more before I realized I could study and learn the material on my own at home.
I enrolled in my local community college and the changes were amazing.
Yes, I still struggled with my depression, anxiety and eating disorder. I still struggled, but I began to flourish. I began to see that no matter what life threw at me, I could get by. I was strong. I was a survivor. I had been through hell and back and I was coming back stronger than ever.
Looking back on it, I wish I knew that high school wasn't for me. I felt trapped, lost and alone. I didn't have that experience you hear so many people talk about where they made the best memories of their lives in high school. My experience was the exact opposite.
Looking back on those years and comparing them to where I am now is shocking because I am two different people. Now, I am doing well, feeling challenged in my classes and have a lot of teachers who truly do care about their students. I am at a school that I love and I am on a campus that offers the help I need when things get rough.
It took a lot of time and years of struggling, but I made it through. Even though I hated high school and all the hell I experienced in those years, I'm thankful that I had those experiences to help me get to where I am now.
A lesson to my teenage self: You'll find yourself looking back on experiences when things didn't work out and saying, "That is who I was, and this is who I am now." High school isn't for everyone, and it certainly wasn't for me -- but without the experience, I wouldn't be where I am today.
My Autobiography - School Experiences Influencing Life Chances & Choices
School has impacted my life to a huge extent providing experiences to cope with the real-life problems, understand the basic requirements, develop and improve my skills, and motivated through different classroom activities. My teachers created certain situations in the classroom in which we performed different activities based on the themes provided by them. These activities had helped build my vision how to tackle different scenarios and how different alternatives can be created and best chosen in a given situation. I was provided with huge opportunities during my school life. We played different games to encourage creativity in us. I was tested through regular assignments that were also beneficial throughout my educational period. My teachers encouraged me to engage in creative activities, enjoy the experiences at school and, with their help; I developed a broader spectrum of activities. At school, I improved my communication skills, enhanced clarity and precision. The ideas given by me during studies were welcomed by the teachers and the school regularly took my feedback to assess the development of my skills and abilities. I can safely articulate that my school experience has broadened my vision, built my skills, and influenced my life chances and choices.
Experiences in Life Giving Message to be Cautious or Risk Taking
Risk aggravates and increases different types of responses for which a person should make a decision whether to take risk or be cautious. Life experiences have taught me to respond to a situation in different ways. In other words I have a set of alternatives offering me distinctive solutions to tackle a situation. I can ignore or take safety precautions by thinking different alternatives. I could minimize the risk by taking every possible precaution and weighing pros and cons of the action to be taken. I have the option to rely on other people's experience or on my own understanding. Experience has told me that although it is always tempting to take risk for getting huge rewards but the consequences attached to risk should also be predicted and assessed and only then calculated risk should be taken. Several day-to-day activities are risky in nature and should be dealt accordingly. The safety precautions should be taken as demanded by the situation. It is pertinent to mention that efforts should be made to minimize the risk as much as it is possible even in minor affairs during routine life. It means that activities involving considerably high level of risks should be avoided, but experience has also taught me that it is better to understand the benefits attached with risks and only then decision should be made.
Goals Set by my Parents and School a Place of Freedom or Fear
Accomplishments especially in education can be understood better based on the goals set for the children by parents and also level of parent's aspirations. These goals and aspirations are directly related to the academic activities of students and contribute heavily towards accomplishments during education and also in the future life. It is pertinent to mention that parent's ambitions and goal setting influences level of success in studies and their intellectual achievements. My parents determined and set goals for educational accomplishments to develop values and support my belief about my abilities and intelligence. School has always remained a place of freedom for me where I enjoyed different activities set by the teachers. These activities were designed to improve my skills, develop my vision, and prepare for the future life. I was always encouraged to enjoy freedom despite certain fears that I had. I was made to understand that risks are always there in the life, whether at school or outside world, but we have to be prepare to tackle them as rewards are attached to risks.
My Dreams when I was Younger
Dreams of a young person are dynamic in nature as they are continuously changing. Dreams at times are fragile in nature while they could also prove beneficial for any young person to achieve success in the future life. One of the biggest challenges in my life is to make a decision about career that follows after completing education. This, in fact, is a demanding situation in life as I have no idea of what it would be. In this regard, goals set by parents to accomplish along with necessary freedom at school supported me to a huge extent. School made me think positively, understand the nature of risk and developed belief that risks are attached with rewards.
It is pertinent to highlight that every young person is overwhelmed by different alternatives available based on the stories of future success or failure. My parents provided me a favorable environment supporting my dreams and their inspirations. I believe that parents and teachers are the people who form dreams for future to help a young person and develop confidence that he/she can fulfill dreams. However, excess of imagination is detrimental instead of beneficial. Every young person should feel that he/she is being valued and admired. The culture in which I grew had always emphasized results and accomplishments. I was taught that we should always affirm the fundamental value of a human-being as exclusively valuable. The sense of belonging developed especially by my parents has filled a feeling of safety, security, and comfort in me to accomplish the goals set by them.
In the paper I have strived to describe briefly my autobiography related to some special areas. These areas include the experience I had in my school life and how education has influenced my life chances and choices. I have narrated my experiences that gave me message to be cautious or take risk in a particular situation. At the end I have mentioned the goals set for me by my parents and also the dreams I used to have during young age.