It’s funny now, but 10 years ago I almost didn’t walk across the stage with my high school diploma! 10 years ago I was in the 12th grade, outspoken and clowned anybody who tried me. There are a lot of things that happened while I was in high school that shaped the person I am today.
At the age of 17, I figured I knew everything and my life was planned out. Sh******t the last couple of months of my high school year stressed me to the point I have gray hair now. The beginning of my senior year I didn’t take it seriously not knowing that I was slick playing with my life. Some of the teachers knew that too.
I was struggling in Algebra 2, English and a history class. Yes, chile 3 classes. I procrastinate a lot and I’m still working on it. Anyway, the last couple of months were crunch time and I had to do what I needed to pass all of my classes. My father and mother had invested more than $1,000.00 on my graduation from invitations, class ring and senior heads. Justin had no choice but to walk or I would be an embarrassment to my family. My grandmother had to come to the school and to make sure I was on it. It was soooooo bad that I cut off all ties to friends and extra curriculum activities just to stay focused.
My grade in Honors English was a 67.9 a couple of weeks before graduation, the only reason I took the honors class was to be around the “it crowd”. My Algebra grade was so low I don’t even wanna tell yall lol. I had no idea of what I was learning in that class or what was the purpose of it. S. Madden helped me get that grade by sharing the answers to the tests (shhh don’t tell nobody lol). My history class which is my favorite subject, I was barely passing which I don’t understand to this day. I do know the teacher was homophobic and I was out in high-school, but that’s another story I’ll share another day.
These teachers allowed me to turn in extra credit work to pass their classes so I could walk. There are sometimes I have nightmares about not graduating and having to attend summer and graduate later. Still scares me to this day sometimes.
I could’ve put in the work and did what I needed to do and maintained a 4.0 GPA. Full scholarships to prestigious Universities but I wasn’t motivated. There isn’t a day where I don’t think about where I could be if I took it more seriously. Being black, we, unfortunately, have to work harder that our counterparts. Blacks can not be average because we won’t be noticed.
All I’m saying for anyone who is reading now is to stay focused and never take anything for granted. Learn from others mistakes so you won’t have to make them. Trust me.