Soulful Saturday: High School

Hello everyone! It’s time for some deep diving into my psyche again as we enter another Soulful Saturday. Today, I decided to talk about something that’s not so secret, but something that I can’t stop feeling bothered by: high school, and the reason I failed to finish it.

If you were here last week, you’ll know already about my history of needing psychiatric medication and a hospitalization or two. And if you were here just the other day, you’ll know I was born with a heart condition. That said, I have a slew of diagnoses besides that: everything from fibromyalgia to spine damage, from congenital anosmia to an unusual case of hyperacusia. I have chronic migraines, a hormonal cycle as kind as a nasty mother-in-law, and blood pressure the polar opposite of the high that runs in my family. Basically, my genetic pool sucks.

Here’s where that became a problem for students in the old days: in a time where it was way harder to get an education from online sources legally, I was constantly out sick from school. If I was out six or more days, the quarter of that year was a failing grade automatically- and I failed a lot because of it. It didn’t matter I always had a doctor’s note. It didn’t matter if it was five days in a row because of the flu. If I was out, I was out. And eventually, being out led me to being kicked out. But that’s not the end of this story.

They did try other things, you see. They tried tutoring at the library which actually worked, until they discovered alternative schools for kids with issues like mine. The first one they sent me to was over an hour away from where I lived- if I felt even minorly sick, I refused to go in because there was no way I’d get to my doctor at a good time. Then, they switched me to a brand new one in town. And that’s when I learned something interesting.

Many students were absent far more than me and still passed. Apparently, the rules in those schools were based on the student’s town. It didn’t matter where I went- I was still a student of Paramus High School, even if I never had to step into that building to go to my classes. And because I was a Paramus student, I was held to the same harsh reality: Health was less important, in a way, than education.

I loved school is what’s funny. I’ve always loved learning, and I had great teachers most of my life. Sure, there were some hiccups, but for the most part, I was happy with the staff. I got along with my classmates, too. But once I was nineteen almost and retaking eleventh grade, my town decided keeping me as a student was too costly. I was expelled by their order, and have since not been to school ever again.

This is stuff that happened just under a decade ago, however. It’s not like the results ruined my life. I’ve yet to get my GED due to a multitude of complications, but I managed to get a job despite it because my boss, as well as being a kind person, saw my talents in editing and writing- we met in a writing group, after all! The fact I have this job, despite being disabled and a high school drop out, is more than special to me. Just thinking about how lucky I am to have met my boss and coworkers… I feel like crying!

So, I leave this post as a testament to the fact that, while it’s important to get an education, we don’t all get lucky hands. Play the hand you’re dealt, and remember there’s going to be some silver lining in your future. If it worked for me, it’ll work for you. I’m sure of it.