I'm a high school dropout. That's a very hard thing for me to admit. I was always really good at school. I tested well, was in advanced placement classes. Once, for my birthday, I asked to go to summer school. I was never a teacher's pet, but usually the teacher's favourite. I studied a lot, got good grades and generally enjoyed going to school. But I hit a rough patch in high school. I was still reeling from my parent's divorce, I had quite a few abandonment issues, control issues and in my depression, I stopped attending classes. Stopping finishing school projects or doing my homework.
In the fall of 2000, as I was starting my fourth year of high school, I was informed that because of my failing grades I was still considered a sophomore. It was easy for me to lie to my father. It was easy to sneak my report cards out of the mailbox and hide them. It was easy for me to tell my dad I was still getting As and Bs. But what surprised me is how easy the rest of it was as well.
It's not like in TV programmes or movies. There were no concerned guidance counsellors who called me into their office to discuss my grades or where I saw myself in the future. There were no notes from my teachers to say 'see me after class' to discuss my Fs on papers. There was no rallying around of my friends to provide study groups, I wasn't aware of a tutoring programme in my high school for me to fall back on. And I know that it wasn't up to the teachers or my guidance counsellor or my friends to bail me out. It was up to me to ask for help, but I couldn't do it.
When it finally did come to the end of the line, the point where I had to 'fess up and admit that I was failing out of high school to my father, I had a plan. I was going to take summer school, I was going to redo my classes, work after school to complete my missing credits. I wanted to work to solve this mess I had made for myself. I thought my dad would be proud that I wanted to fix this problem with hard work and dedication. Instead he advised me to drop out, get my GED. If I had a college degree, who would care if I recieved my high school diploma or not? he said. He figured it wouldn't be a big deal in the long run and I believed him.
He was wrong, and I realise that now. In taking the easy way out, I learned that it's better to walk away from things that are too messy. Things that are too difficult or that would take much time and effort. Now, with so many things, it's second-nature for me to just bail on the tough stuff, find the exit. I wish I'd stuck with high school, even if I had graduated a year later than expected. It would have taught me the value of hard work, given me something to be proud of. Instead, I'm a high school dropout and there's nothing I can do to take that back. I just hope I can learn from my past mistakes and when I start my university degree again, I hope I will be able to work hard at it, not give up, and finally succeed.