THE BLOG

My Decision to Switch to Online School

11/22/2013 10:58 am ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
  • Alexa Curtis High school student, fashion blogger, social media manager, aspiring model

Do you ever wake up in the morning before school and think, "Wow, I'd actually rather trip and fall than go to school today?" Not always to that extent, but that is how school made me feel.

Most teens have the same feeling towards getting up at the crack of dawn five days a week (six if you play sports) and head on the bus to the misery schools brings. For me, school was never easy. The majority of my classes were B level, and I still struggled. Math and science were horrific: an hour of math felt like a day of murder, where I retained absolutely no information when I would go home and do my homework. Even tutors that would come to my house would have to sit with me for hours explaining to me something as simple as percents and decimals. Science was even worse, suggesting that all I ever wanted to do was go on Pinterest or eat in class because I was that bored. Ask me my favorite class? I'd answer lunch, ever since I first began school. My answer never changed.

When my math teacher would ask me a question about the various subject we were studying, my face would get redder than a tomato, and I'd look around shyly for whatever friend I had in my class to save me by answering for me or mouthing the answer to me. I asked one question once a week in every class (as little as required), giving me effort grades of a C or below if I got lucky. Teachers hated me, besides the occasional one that actually saw hope in me. Once a teacher asked me what I wanted to do when I was older, and I answered with: "Work at a magazine" He replied by asking me if I even had to go to college for that. I wanted to shove Vogue and the Forbes "highest earned" list with Anna Wintour's name at the top in his face.

Besides my crappy grades and eventful science class filled with Pinterest and food, the main reason I switched to online school was to follow my dreams of being able to work and not feel restricted by the school routine. School made me more insecure than I'd been in my entire 16 years of life. Apparently, boys don't seem to want a girlfriend who is a fashion blogger or doesn't wear leggings and UGGs to school. I had a friend come over to my house one time and ask me why I had so many beautiful pieces of clothing in my closet (most sent to me by various companies and designers) and didn't wear any of it to school. Oh boy, did I wish it were that easy. On the few occasions where I wanted to dress up in something other than Victoria Secret's sweatpants and UGGs, I got stares beyond belief. And trust me, I wore some pretty rad clothing on the occasions I tried. Rag and Bone jeans which got named "aluminum foil pants" by kids in my school (ignoring the fact I saved every penny of my money and bought them, and they were snapped by every street style photographer at Fashion Week), and a Free People cape that didn't sit well with many either. The couple of friends I had were great, don't get me wrong, but only a few of them I could see as lasting relationships. Most of my friends from school I haven't seen or talked to since I left. I didn't relate to them on the level I wanted to. Everyone was talking about their boyfriends and who they hooked up with or how drunk they got, while I wanted to talk about my job or about how excited I was to go back to New York, or an event coming up. Most of my friends are older.

I wanted to share secrets with my friends about boys and parties, but parties always scared me so much (the boys did too.) I'd rather sit on my couch on a Friday night and watch movies with friends and eat pizza than go out and force a smile and try to be social with kids that I had no interest in. Parties are so awkward and uncomfortable in high school, and every time I go to one my heart beast so fast beforehand -- just from nerves and not knowing what the party will be like. I love parties and go every now and then when I can, but still, they are pretty lame.

Comparing a high school party to a magazine event launch is a joke! I never had a boyfriend, and still haven't had a boyfriend, which has been one of the hardest parts of transferring. Most girls don't care about boyfriends, but for me, it's always been a part of my life I feel like I've missed out on so far. Everyone tells me that everything will happen at the right time, but I'm still waiting! I never knew what to talk to guys about or what they would talk to me about. I'm not shy at all, ask anyone that knows me, but in school I was quiet and reserved, which I hated. I never embraced the real me.

Coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere has been hard. Three-plus towns go to my public school, filling the lunchroom with hundreds of kids crowding in and classes with more than 20 people. I failed math and science but excelled in English, but I was never put into higher level classes like I should have been, and never put into lower level math classes that were necessary for me.

Online school has given me a reason to not hate school and a reason to wake up every day, and I definitely don't come home crying anymore. I can go to Starbucks in my town or a basketball game dressed up and feel good about myself, whether I'm in aluminum foil pants or sweats. I'm proud to have guys from school know what I do and girls tell me they think what I'm doing is cool. I can travel when I need to and not have to have the "flu" 10-plus times a year as an excuse to miss school for a shoot or Fashion Week. Traveling is more of a lesson than sitting through history will ever be! Plus, my clothes get worn much more now. I've lost friends from transferring, but I've gained a new sense of who I am and the opportunities I'm lucky enough to have in my life. Public school is great for some, but some need an excuse to differ from the crowd. I'm still waiting on the boyfriend, and unfortunately missing out on some of the events like prom and homecoming (even though I can go with friends who are still at school) but in the end, nothing is more important than being happy and feeling like I have a purpose in life. Online school was the right choice for me, and if you haven't considered it yet, maybe it's time you do too.