This is part 2 of my journey to Courageous Journeys. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.
I left off last time at the age of 16, pregnant, a high school dropout, and a newlywed. Just looking at that sentence….it’s almost as if I’m writing about someone else’s story.
High school was…..interesting. I entered high school with no real expectation of graduating. Therefore, in my mind, what was the point. I went because, well, until the age of 16 it’s the law, it got me out of my house for the day, and I was able to spend time with my boyfriend.
Because there really didn’t seem to be a point, I didn’t put much effort into the academic aspect of school. At least until the early part of my Junior year. I made the decision that I was going to graduate, even though it meant I would have to go to summer school to catch up so I could graduate with my class.
I began to take it more seriously and put effort into schoolwork. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of 2nd semester. It didn’t change my determination to finish. I knew I wouldn’t be the first person to have a baby while still in school.
In March, at almost 4 months pregnant I had an emergency appendectomy, causing me to miss over a week of school. When I returned to school with my “note” from the surgeon, my guidance counselor told me she assumed (in reference to why I hadn’t been there) I just decided to leave school since I was pregnant and it would be too difficult for me to continue.
That was it. It was all it took for my desire and determination to evaporate. Just like that. Those couple of minutes where she spoke those few words. I stopped going to school and officially withdrew a couple weeks later.
As a side note, she had reason to assume I decided to quit. I had been skipping classes and full days of school for some time. However, this is one of the problems children and administrators face all the time. Instead of just throwing up your hands when a student seems to be having difficulty or problem behaviors, maybe it would be good to try to understand why. Maybe another post for another time…
A couple of months later, 1½ months before I turned 17, I married my boyfriend. He left for Air Force basic training a couple weeks after that, and 2 months later my son was born. My husband finished basic training a few weeks after his birth, then we were off to North Carolina where he was stationed.
A new (teenage) wife, a new (teenage) mom, living in a new state on the other side of the country. Life was changing in some pretty big ways. Some quite obvious, some a little more subtle, but no less significant.
To be continued…..
Writing this post brought back a lot of middle and high school memories. What are the memories that really stand out to you from your time in school? Were they experiences that helped you achieve your dreams or somehow create self-doubt?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, or memories you'd like to share.