Fundamental Chapter of My Life: My High School Experience

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It’s true when people say that high school can either be the best or worst four years of your life; For me, it was definitely a combination of both. My high school experience certainly had its highs and lows and many confusing moments in between. However, looking back at this experience, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Although the high school has proven to be challenging at times, it has shown me how to handle obstacles with faith and courage, and to believe in myself when no one else does.

At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and tackle advanced classes head-on. Before then, I had the mindset that my grade point average and class ranking didn’t matter, so I was content with mediocre grades. However, I soon realized that I needed to set my priorities straight because I was capable of much more than I could possibly imagine if I were to just set my mind to it. Therefore, I went over to my counselor’s office and after viewing my options I came to the conclusion that I wanted to graduate in the “distinguished” program. This would mean that I would have to take most if not all of my courses advanced. After making the necessary changes to my graduation plan, I headed back over to class.

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I vividly remember walking into class and my teacher immediately started asking me where I had been and why I had gotten there late. I answered his questions by telling him that I had gone to speak to my counselor to make some adjustments to my schedule so that I could take more challenging courses to give me a better chance of staying in the top ten percent of my class. I will never forget the facial expression he made of uttermost shock and disbelief when he responded with, “You’re in the top ten percent of your class? What elementary school are you from?” He was basically implying that he didn’t believe I was an intelligent individual, and that it would be impossible for a student that went to a non-prestigious elementary school to end up at the top of their class. I couldn’t quite comprehend why my accomplishment was so hard to believe; I certainly didn’t think that my academic background determined my capabilities. His reaction infuriated me! However, I decided to act in a mature manner and answered back with a simple “ok, thanks for your concern.” Instead of lashing out at him, I was going to strive to do my best in all my courses and maintain A’s as grades. After all, actions speak louder than words.

Truthfully, looking back at that moment today, his comment did discourage me a bit, but it also gave me the determination I needed to continue pushing toward reaching my academic goals. I decided to view his reaction as an opportunity to not only prove him wrong but anyone else who might have doubted me as well. I wasn't going to let anyone’s stereotypical opinions of me determine my future. Therefore, I clung to the idea of faith which in turn gave me confidence and security in my capabilities, and I stood by my decision and started taking pre-ap, dual credit, and ap classes. Often times I was overwhelmed with homework and even lost a couple of friends because my Saturday nights consisted of studying and doing homework instead of partying, but even with the odds against me, I was determined to create a future full of opportunities and success for myself.

During my junior year of high school, I had not only managed to maintain my ranking but had done so well with the previous classes that I bumped up in rank and was now in the top five percent. My sleepless nights that consisted of studying, and all the stress I had taken on, had proven to be worthwhile and beneficial. All my hard work was undoubtedly paying off. I continued to dedicate myself to my academics throughout the rest of my high school career and realized that I had set myself up for success. Devoting my time to school was not only helping me grow academically but emotionally as well. I now knew that I wanted to receive a higher education after high school by attending a university. Therefore, taking all those advanced classes prepared me for my future by challenging me in ways I would have never imagined, and by opening my perspective and mind to new concepts and ideas. Since then I have had a confidence boost, and have learned to follow my dreams even when the world seems to be against me because, in the end, the only person I need to believe in me is myself.

Overall, my high school experience has certainly been a very insightful chapter of my life. It has shown me that the opinions of other individuals do not define who I am, or who I aspire to be. We have the power to decide that for ourselves. Therefore, there’s no point in clinging to the negative remarks headed our way, instead, we should choose to have faith and confidence in ourselves and our aspirations because if set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.  

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