I recently came across a paper I wrote at the end of my high school career. Its been 7 years since I wrote it and as I sat reading it, tears filled my eyes. So much has changed since then, things I thought were impossible became, not just possible, but accomplished. I want to share the letter with you; it is very personal. This letter is about acceptance, consequences, and determination.
What has High School done for me?
High school has been a great three and a half years of my life, and I have learned so much through it all. I learned how to write essays, sew quilts, calculate stuff in math, and how the Civil War started. And yet, all the knowledge that I actually will need in the future has come from outside the classroom. Sure, knowing the correct format for your works cited page for a term paper can help in college, but after that it won’t ever get used again. Solving algebraic equations is on the top of my list for the most unneeded information I have ever been taught. We are taught so many things in school, but the majority will never be used outside this place.
As the saying goes, I was taught everything I needed to know in kindergarten. When it comes to books and homework I am obviously not at the top of my class. Though, I believe I am an intelligent I think my smarts are in more real life areas than most. I have had to grow up a lot faster than the majority of high school students I know. I haven’t had to live on the streets and fend for myself or fight the world to survive. I have parents who love me in their own special way. I have friends who care about me and have my back when time are hard. Just like everybody else.
I battled drug addiction and I won. I got out of an abusive relationship alive and well. I have made it through seven months of pregnancy. I am ready to deal with the fact that I am going to be a single teenage parent struggling for the rest of my life. I am willing to cope with the fact that I have to postpone the dreams I had for my future. I wanted to go to college and make a life for myself, but now my hopes and wishes lie in the baby growing inside of me. My one concern now is that she, my baby, will have the life that I did not have. Instead of worrying about what I am going to wear to prom, I am worrying about how I’m going to make it through labor.
What has high school done for me? It has opened my eyes in ways I never thought possible. A year ago, I thought of school as a prison I was forced to be in. Now, I see it as a place I can feel like the seventeen year-old girl I am. This is a place I can relax and be free. Yet as I look around myself, I see all of the people I have grown up with. I see a distance that was never there before this final year of our adventure. I see myself separated from these people because I cannot be the typical senior girl. I should be enjoying the last year of my sentence here, and yet I am not. I am dreading the end of my high school career, because when it is over I will be left behind. All of my friends and peers will be of to make the lives they wished for, and will still be here living a life I never thought I would have. A life made for a TV movie.
High school has been my safe haven. The one place I can learn and live rather than live and learn. My time in high school is precious to me and it is something I will cherish always. Enjoy life as it comes your way, but be prepared for the consequences of your actions. I have learned so much here, things I will never need and things it takes others their whole lives to learn. This place has changed me. A I do believe it is for the better, even though I know I have hard times ahead of me.
I have, since then, had the baby, met the man love and married him, had another baby, moved out of the small town I grew up in, and graduated college. I took what I thought was a hopeless existence and completely threw it out the window. I wrote my own future, I made my dreams come true. I fulfilled a promise to my father, that I wouldn’t get stuck, just because I was a teen parent. I promised him I would eventually go to school and get a college degree. I did that. I have two beautiful healthy children and a loving husband. Life isn’t easy, but it’s good. I’m stronger because of my past, but I don’t let it dictate my future. I’m perusing my passion, and doing what I love with the people I love. I can’t ask for anything better and brighter than that.
Thanks for coming down memory lane with me,
Mythandra Fenner (formerly Mythandra Brown)