August 2011. The beginning of an era known as high school.
My journey began as an awkward, lazy and cocky freshman -- and yes, I am willing to admit that, not to shame myself, but to show the changes. I wore too much makeup trying to fit in somewhere in between my old set of friends (where I soon realized that group changes almost three days into the school year), and branching out trying to prove myself to other people to make them think I'm worthy of being their friends, which was probably the worst idea I've had in my four years at Revere High, but what it taught me was more than any a course I have ever taken at that school.(Yes, even more than what my AP class had taught me.)
When you're in high school, you take your classes to graduate, but what you do not notice is you are taking more than that. You are taking your life skills to the next level whether you like it or not. If you think about it, when you are a freshman, you are either 14 or 15, straight out of middle school where you were the top dogs of the school, then bam: you're in a school with people about to go to college. That was my issue: I thought I was ready for this huge change, but then the second I walked in, I wanted to run out.
I wasn't the best student, nor the worst. I was put in a limbo between being classified as stupid or being a nerd. That was a rough patch that I was stuck in because I was not the brightest star in my classes, but they called me a nerd because I acted studious, although I struggled a lot for my first two years. Even when I did my best like learning an A in my Freshman English class, I still for some reason got put in college prep English, and not honors, and then proceeded to ace my sophomore English college prep class. I felt there was something wrong with me, but then finally I got into Honors English after trying for three years. That class I passed with a B+ average, then I jumped to AP English this year earning a high C+, which is fantastic, seeing I was barely prepared for this.
Here I am, the last nine days of my senior year are coming to a close. I am a genuinely different person than I was four years ago. So much has happened now as I am reflecting back on the last four years, whether it's amazing things or terrible. Yes, I did kill my GPA freshman and sophomore year. Yes, I did get a bad stomach disability, resulting to an intense surgery. And yes, I have done things I deeply regret. But there are positives as these years went on. I became an AP student. I got accepted to my top choice college with scholarships. I am a published writer on HuffPost Teen. I am in a book, and most importantly, I have a support group like no other. Whether it be my fifth grade teacher Ms. Anderson, my new found mentor, motivator, and friend Ms. Barile, or the people who have bullied me.
This is to those people. The people who laughed at me when I didn't know how to do basic algebra, the people who snorted when they figured out that I got published, the people who constantly have pushed me down -- and then came crying back to me the second I did something like get great publicity and claim to be my friend. You are the ones who pushed me to this greatness, so I applaud you for trying to phase me by saying "That girl with the weird teeth?" or even "That chick who has that weird tube."
Yes, I am tube girl -- the chick with fangs. But I am also someone who persevered. Every emotional breakdown over some drama that doesn't even have relevancy in my life, or every time I would be an agonizing pain before my surgery, but then drag myself to school the next day, and constantly trying to live my life while pleasing others. That has shaped me to be the woman I am today.
Erin Marie Whitten, future journalist, past naive adolescent and present day graduate of Revere High School Class of 2015.
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