Completely unaware of anything about my new high school’s reputation of a “rough environment” or how my new school district struggled, I was in for a culture shock on what an inner city public school was like. My new school was the opposite of what I was accustomed to. Over half of its students were economically disadvantaged and minorities were the majority. From the beginning, I witnessed so many flaws. With an overwhelming amount of students, there were about 34 kids to each teacher. Students seemed to have less interest, greatly needing a school that rewarded hard work and good choices and constructively disciplined negative behavior. Instead, the school only cared about standardized test scores and could hardly motivate students out of their uncontrollable ways. Many classes I had sat in were dominated by loud, interrupting, and distracting young people. Therefore, many times this left my teachers drowning to stay afloat. Not only were most of my peers not interested in staying focused, but also the teachers were scatterbrained, lost, and overwhelmed most of the time. Due to this, I had to sit at the front of each room to absorb as much knowledge as possible. I had to attend tutorials, use the internet, check out any available school textbooks, and force myself to grasp concepts that no one else was forcing themselves to learn. Networking at my humongous public school school saved me, because for every 40 students or teachers that I met that were unhelpful,
I met one student or teacher that I could help inspire or could help inspire me on my journey to reach my college dreams. The few people I became close with helped fuel my dying idealism that I could go farther after my four years of high school. Taking advantage of every program or mentoring opportunity that sought after students like me who were diamonds in the rough let me escape the negative bubble I was in. I was able to create my own path, appreciating those who were able to connect me with new possibilities, or even simply encourage me. Despite not attending a prestigious private school or a groundbreaking public school, I was able to turn lemons into lemonade and use my high school as a stepping stone for where I want to be. It wasn’t easy, but anything is possible.
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