We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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From a young age, I remember hating going to school. By 3rd grade, my relationship with school was the absolute worst. I felt as if school was unnecessary. I was never the smartest kid in class. I didn't get straight A's. I didn't understand the material we learned in class. I dreaded everything about school, especially getting called on to answer a question. It got to the point where I hated going to school, and I would get really anxious on Sundays, knowing I had to go back to school the next day. The thought of Sundays made me tense up and want to cry because I knew I had to once again go to school the next year. 

I remember sitting outside with my family enjoying the weekend. It is a memory seared into my mind because I remember looking down at my mother's phone and seeing "Sunday" on the calendar. My stomach sank and it automatically felt like a dark cloud came over my head. My mood completely changed with tears welling up in my eyes. My mother became concerned about my weekly desperate pleads to not send me to school the next day. She promised that I would be okay going to school and that this week would be different. Week after week, nothing changed and my disdain for school continued to grow. I would always feel sluggish on Mondays. That sluggishness would accompany me throughout the week and would affect me academically. I did not do much class work and I would doze off.  

A few years later, the feeling had changed.I grew out of feeling school was unnecessary. My sister was a senior when I started my freshman year of high school. She was the type of person who had good grades and was self-motivated, something I had struggled with my entire academic career. After years of living under the same roof, her advice to grow up and do better in school finally stuck to me. I did not realize it at the time but her advice transformed my perception of school. I wanted to be able to follow in my sister’s footsteps. I still didn't have the "perfect" grades, but I accepted the idea that I was growing. With this new understanding of school, I no longer felt the need to beg my mom to keep me at home. I no longer dreaded Sunday evenings.

© Emily Aragon. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.