I graduated high school… from bed.
My high school experience was far from traditional. This photo of me is actually a great representation of it. The majority of my courses were completed online from my bed.
As many of you know, during my freshman year of high school, I started to get sick and experience daily symptoms, and to add chaos, the COVID pandemic began.
Then, my sophomore year, I attempted to attend school in person but had to drop out after just a couple weeks due to my rapidly declining health. After my skull-C3 fusion, in 2021, my biggest goal was to recover enough to go back to in-person school. I persevered during tough physical therapy sessions with a laser focused mission of returning to my high school at Bishop England.
Yet, once again like a bad dream on repeat, four days into my junior year, issues with malnutrition and my spine caused me to drop out once again. This is when I realized that a traditional school setup simply wasn’t possible for me at the time.
So, throughout the past few years, I have taken online classes mainly through Johns Hopkins CTY. With the proper accommodations, I was able to finish all the courses required to graduate high school. True, this was not the high school experience I would have chosen. Nevertheless, I am thankful to live in a time and in a country where there are resources to help one get to the end goal: graduation.
If you have had struggles with schooling in-person, I empathize with you. Listen to your body, give yourself grace, and find a way to learn that doesn’t compromise your health or your education. More and more in life, I am understanding that there are many ways to accomplish goals. Take note, it generally requires thinking outside the box, doing things unconventionally, and often going against the flow.
When one is homeschooled, graduation looks a lot different. There is no walking across a stage, performance acknowledgments, or throwing a cap in the air with cheering, hugs, and tears. There are no parties, presents, or inspiring speeches. For me, graduation was formalized by getting a certificate in the mail. It lacked fanfare and celebration and shared closure, but it’s okay because the goal was met and I’m incredibly proud of myself.