Today I’d like to address a subject that I’ve been eager to talk about: my highschool experience, what it meant to me and how it improved the person I am today.
I’ve finished highschool this year (as I previously posted in a blog post) and I’m now waiting to see if I got in the University I chose. Now that I am at this point of life I’d like to share with you what I went through.
When I started highschool, in my 10th grade (here in Portugal highschool only lasts for 3 school years – 10th, 11th, 12th) I was so scared of the change I was going to make and in what ways it would affect my life: I had to go to another city to study and although I was able to come and go everyday, it was still exhausting. I even thought about not going and staying where I live, studying subjects I don’t like but my mom helped me and gave the courage to go and face it.
The 10th grade:
It was my first year and I had the very first taste of freedom. My family could not control me in the time of the day I was at school and wasn’t even able to know what I was doing except if the teachers informed them, which never happened. This was, of course, a good and a bad thing, it taught me to be by myself and to be more independent but it was also an opportunity to try new things and sometimes that didn’t turn out right.
I only had one friend at the beginning of the year but soon made more and that resulted in my first friend being mad at me. Which turned out to be the best thing to happen to me while I was there, he was a “toxic” friend, because of his influence I started smoking and my grades were going down the drain. When he got mad and we stopped talking, I stopped smoking and my grades were high again. I was dealing with depression and being away from a person like that helped me a lot. So if you ever find a person like that, a person that pushes you down in every single way, please stop for a minute and think if that’s the kind of person you want to be around with.
I finished the school year, not with the best grades but with grades good enough so I could move on to the next year. I promised myself I’d get better and I did.
The 11th grade:
A new school year arrived and I was sure to make the best out of it. I had a new group of friends, actual friends that cared and supported me through everything (to them I owe a big thank you). My grades were good, I was one of the best students at almost every subject except for philosophy, I never understood philosophy, it was a headache. Although the year went pretty good and I was thinking I was going to be able to pass every subject, including philosophy when I got to the last semester I failed. I passed everything with good grades but I had failed philosophy. I now had 2 choices: Go ahead and take philosophy classes in separate or go ahead not taking any classes and do an exam in the end of the 12th grade to pass the subject. I ended up choosing the second option but I was now feeling a complete failure because the work I had put in that subject through that whole year was gone. I was stressed and, once again, scared. I was mostly scared I had to stay in another whole year just to finish one subject.
The 12th grade:
This year was by far the year I most enjoyed. I started studying for the philosophy exam right away as I didn’t want to fail. With this exam I had 4 exams in total: 2 were mandatory (Portuguese and History) and the other 2 I made were philosophy (so I could finish high school) and English as an requirement for the University.
I also started taking psychology classes and it was the best thing I ever did. I discovered not only that I was really good at it but I also loved it deeply. The whole year went, overall, smoothly, I had a teacher I didn’t like as he was the most idiotic creature at the face of the earth. We were there to learn and when we didn’t know the answer for what he had asked us he’d call us “incompetents and useless human beings.” He was just nasty and I kept asking me how could someone like that be able to teach and work with kids and teens. He doubted me through the whole year and I proved him wrong. I’d very much like to see his face now.
The finals came and I passed, every single one. I passed philosophy, I got good grade in Portuguese and History, and got a high grade in English (even higher than Portuguese).
I was so thrilled to be able to see that my hard work had been rewarded. What I got from these 3 years is that it doesn’t actually matter the road you take, it only matters where you finish. Through my whole 3 years I fought depression and anxiety and I struggled with my grades but now I’m a month away from going to University study languages and cultures.
If you are going through a change right now, do not be afraid of it. It might be for the best. Even if things don’t go right at the beginning always try to make the best of it.
If you are feeling scared because a new school year is right about to start, I just want you to know that I’ve been there, hell, I AM there. I am fully scared of this new school year but I am going for it, I’m going to make the best of it because that’s what feels right for me.
Do not be afraid to take chances, they might change your life.