School was never something I had any specific thoughts or feelings about; it was just something I did. I knew it was important for the future: college, career, happy life, and so on. But that was it, just a means to an end, something I had to complete before I got to my actual goal of becoming an adult.
More recently, I’ve been thinking about growing up. It’s probably been on my mind a lot more because this year is my last year in high school. I’m a fairly sentimental person, so I’ve been thinking about all four years- What I did, what I could have done differently, and classes. Specifically, the class that made me have an opinion about school. The class that made me love school and feel like I had a home.
The English class I took my sophomore year will always have a very special place in my heart. Before that year I liked English, but after that class I loved it. It made me realize there are an endless amount of ways to tell a story; whether it’s with a research paper or a poem, you can express yourself and say on paper what is too hard for you to say out loud. A part of that year that always sticks out to me is an assignment I got to write a poem. I wrote it during one of the lowest points in my life: when I felt like giving up on everything.
After I wrote this poem I felt better, like maybe even if something was hard for a little while I still had something to help me through it.
This is the poem I wrote:
I wonder what it’s like to be happy
and free without a care in the world.
I wonder what it’s like to wear a smile and not feel like it’s out of place.
I wonder what it would be like
to travel far and wide without having a feeling like you’re going to die.
I wonder how people are happy and rarely sad, I wonder how their anger and fear doesn’t consume every thought they have.
I wonder what it’s like not to be scared…
Scared to say the wrong thing or be a certain way,
I wonder why I can’t just be like all the others,
All the others who know how to act and always know what to say…
All the others who aren’t this way.
But I know,
No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to hide who I am inside
Because it always shows
And everybody knows
that I could never be like them.
So I go on,
because leaving is not an option
And although I try really hard
I feel so bizarre,
Like if I say or do the wrong thing I might explode
or they’ll think less of me.
I know that it’s not true,
But it feels like no matter what I do
I can’t stop feeling
It’s a terrible feeling but
I’ve always known
I’ll never fit in wherever I go
I look back at this poem sometimes, and I think about how wrong I was about some of the things I said, but that’s the beauty in it. The things I wrote may not have been accurate to how my life is now, but that’s how I felt. I couldn’t say the words myself so I wrote them down. That’s why I love English and the reason my view of school changed. It wasn’t just a means to an end anymore. It was something I could count on when I felt alone, and something that would always be there for me when I didn’t feel like talking to someone else. It’s what taught me there isn’t a limit to what a person can learn. That’s why I will always have the love of learning. Even though high school is ending for me, whenever I feel lost or like I don’t have a place to go, I know I can go somewhere with my paper and pen, and that makes me feel that everywhere is home.