Every year in high school you had kids move to different schools. A few went a town over and some, across the country. I did that my Junior year to New Hampshire. Our whole family to the state that has the motto: “Live Free or Die.” Yeah, what kind of motto is that? Well, things happened and before I knew it, I was on my way back to Arizona in a years time. During my time in New Hampshire, I worked and was enrolled in an online high school. To my benefit, the classes I completed weren’t credited, so, as you may expect, my Junior year was washed away.
After coming to the reality of that, I still wanted to go to Arizona, not knowing what in the world was going to happen. Countless hours of stressing out, talking to counselors and my parents, I had a few choices. The catch: I had to complete Junior and Senior year in two semesters if I didn’t want to do summer school. 17 classes in one year. Taking a full load in person, then 3-4 online classes on top of that. Plus, Cross Country and Track. Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking.
I can’t tell you how many sleepless night I had. One, from the cramps I got from running. Those hurt like no other and to the point of making me cry. The other and more occurring one was school work. I wasn’t in any AP classes so that helped. Another part of the situation was I was living with one of my best friends for the first three months before my parents came back out to AZ.
My grades were iffy at best. Every chance I could sleep I would, procrastinating the inevitable. Somehow, I made it work in the fall semester and managed to be slightly sane with everything. It was looking up. Cross Country helped me stay calm even though I wasn’t performing the way I would’ve liked, however the life lesson wasn’t my time and place in a Cross Country race. It was way more.
I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it still was going to be a rough few months before I could even think about graduating. Everyday was the same. I’d wake up at 5 and do the rest of my homework if I didn’t finished it the night before. Then school from 7-2:30. And, to my happiness, I was in two classes with Juniors. Yeah, you could see the fighting and anger that was going on inside of me. I wasn’t amused with their immaturity. In some strange way though, it helped.
After school, I had Track practice which would end at around 5-ish depending on the workout. Damn, looking back on it, I miss all that. When I got home, it was back to homework and me staying up till midnight or even later. I had the help of my parents. Their support has given me so much help over the years, and I needed it more than ever at this point. By April, I was on my last straw. I was drained from everything. My mental state swayed every minute of every day, wondering if I was going to be able to make it. One day, for the first time in my life, I had a mental breakdown in class. Boy, those don’t feel good. The panic and everything shrinking around you, suffocating. That moment, out of the whole year was probably the worst. It came upon me all of a sudden and I had no idea what to do. Luckily, it passed.
My last race ever was upon me and I ran the 800m. Probably my favorite distance race besides the 1600m. I ran a PB of 2:08.17. About average. Earlier in the year, I was averaging 2:11-2:13 so I was beyond stoked. Prom came, and it was fun. Not for me though. And then, FINALS. The make or break of it all. The studying was non-stop and my brain was now fried. I couldn’t even eat soup without getting a fork first. With the online classes I had to do, they had a passing grade on the final of 70%. Anything lower, you failed the class, even if you had a grade above that. So yeah, I was stressing.
I had two 70% on my finals and passed by the skin on my teeth. The others I was decent and passed. I was graduating! Now that I think of it, graduating isn’t that great. I barely remember that day, and to be honest, I was glad to be leaving that place. I had enough of people telling me what to do.
Looking back, I’m glad I chose to go through with it. With all the sleepless nights, the stress of grades and the pressures I put on myself, I needed a kick in the butt. We need those more than we think and in those two years I had that a lot. It changed me and made me look at everything with a new formed perspective, like the PCT did for me. It’s all about the experience, and that was one hell of an experience that I’ll always smile upon. The hard times make you show your true colors.