You learn a lot in high school, it's the time in your life where you go from being a kid to an adult. You learn to drive, pay bills, get a job, and much more all in the short span of 4 years. My high school experience was full of learning experiences, and these experience helped me grow into the person I am today.
At the start of high school I was naive, and irresponsible. I spent most of my time out of school playing video games with my friends, completely forgetting about homework, and it showed. My grades were horrendous.
Before I had been an A/B student but freshman year was full of Cs, Ds, and even an F. It didn't help much that I had opted to take very difficult classes that year as well. I thought high school would be easy.
It can't be that much harder than middle school, can it?
It was, the next year was more of the same. Grades were slightly improved but still bad compared to my previous standards, but I didn't care at the time. All I cared about was playing video games with my bros. Then, at the start of junior year it hit me.
I fucked up.
I finally started to think about the future, this was one of the biggest changing points of high school for me. I wasn't going to be able to get into any college with a 2.4 GPA. I was going to be working at McDonalds for the rest of my life if I don’t fix it.
I went into junior year hot. I had signed up to take easier classes and tried to do all my homework. I quickly got back to my grade standards, and I wasn’t slowing down. I got a job, and started working daily. I got into a routine which I enjoyed, I was right where I wanted to be. And at the end of junior year I was at a 2.8 GPA.
Was it the best, no. But was it something to work with, yes. Then came the semester of high school that I’ll never forget.
Senior year. The year the all underclassmen dream of. I was cutting it short though, I chose to graduate after the first semester. Why? Well I don’t come from a wealthy family so if I gave myself a couple months to work full time before I go to college I’ll be able to pay for more myself and not have to take out as much in student loans. Once again, I was thinking ahead, I was planning for the future. And it was great. Senior year was a breeze, I have great grades, and ready to graduate. But one class in my senior year really stuck out. English Composition.
English Comp. was a required class to take as a senior, so I went in hating it. English has always been my worst subject, but Mr. McKinney made the class tolerable. He was nice, funny, yet told you the truth about your writing, even if it was harsh. I liked that though, I had complained to past English teachers because I didn’t feel like what we were learning meant anything. I wanted them to teach my how to write, which I was and am still not the greatest at. At least McKinney tried, unlike other teachers. Maybe it was the class itself, or maybe it was him, I'm not sure. But I definitely got better. I use what I’ve learned from Mr. McKinney’s class to help write papers for scholarship opportunities or to colleges. His class has actually helped me in an impactful way, which I would've never expected.
One thing I hated Mr. McKinney for is making us present our finished products to the class. I'm terribly shy and despise speaking in front of the class but McKinney made us. Forcing me to talk in front of the class was terrifying but it helped crack my shell a little. I've found myself talking to more people and making new friends because speaking in front of the class has made me more talkative and less shy. It's truly been a life changing class. I'll be able to use my writing skills in college and work. He also taught us how to think deeper and get past the obvious thoughts, which I already see this being a useful skill at work, when I have to solve a problem.
High school has truly changed my life, in a positive way. However much I dislike school, I'll never be able to repay them enough for all the lesson I've learned and all the skills I've acquired. Especially Mr. McKinney, who was the most impactful English teacher I've ever had. I look forward to graduating this week, and can't wait to use the skills I’ve learned in the workplace and in high education. School may suck while you’re in it, but afterwards you start to truly realize how impactful it is and all the skills they’ve helped you develop so you can be successful in life after high school.