I spent the past two weeks traveling to local high schools. My assignment was to interview seniors who have overcome a hardship and are about to graduate. To be honest I wasn’t thrilled to be writing six variations of the same story, but I found the assignment to be a joy.
The 12 seniors I talked to had gone through a hardship ranging from the loss of a parent, a pregnancy and depression to learning time management and adjusting to a new school. The following items are five things I learned during this assignment.
1.) It’s never too late to get what you want
Two students were on a fast track to not finish high school. During their junior year they decided to take credit recovery classes and change their attitudes. One of the students earned 18 credits his senior year to graduate. The other student is the first in her family to graduate high school. Both students changed their lives around late in their high school career.
2.) You’ll have to work for it
Two students from another school were balancing high school classes, online college classes, community clubs, school clubs and athletics. They gave up the normal senior year experience. On the nights other seniors were hanging out with friends, eating at IHOP or watching a movie, they were studying and volunteering in clubs that resulted in both students getting in to their first choice college and receiving scholarships.
3.) Don’t be afraid to let your feelings out
After the loss of a family member, a student said he was tempted to keep his feelings to himself, but talking to others helped him heal and cope with what he was going through. His advice to others is to talk to someone.
4.) Don’t let stress consume you
During her junior year of high school a senior started to feel stressed. She was overwhelmed by her academics, high school involvement and felt like she wouldn’t be able to succeed. She described the time as a low point. After missing 14 days of school she had to make up all her schoolwork in a one week time period. She said she got through it by her mother and guidance counselor and changed her schedule around so she wouldn’t feel that consuming stress again.
5.) You have friends, family who care for you and will help you
When a student found out she was pregnant she was overwhelmed by support she received. After she gave birth, members of her church volunteered to watch her daughter during the day while she attended high school. Most nights she stays up late doing homework and sometimes goes to school after only 3 to 4 hours of sleep. Her advice to others is there are people who will help you get through anything.