Here I am, a senior. After four years of high school I have learned a lot of lessons. Some were good and valuable, the type I got when I actually went to class. I have also learned others just from growing up and being around other teenagers.
I started senior year with a 1.5 GPA, which is not even close to what I am capable of. The last three years I fooled around and cut lots of classes. Now, I can easily say that it is the only thing in life that I regret. Next year I will watch most of my friends go to college while I lost that chance. This does not mean that I am giving up on my dreams, but when I started high school, my goal was to get great grades and go to a competitive college. Now I'm hoping to go to a community college so I can improve my grades to reach this goal. This year, I pretty much have an A average in my classes, which just goes to show that when I apply myself, I can do amazingly well.
At first I blamed the people around me for my bad experiences, but I've learned that it's my fault when bad things happen. In the last three years I realized that I am the only one in control of myself. While making my teachers and my peers the excuse for not wanting to go to class, I developed a huge lying problem. I found myself making excuses for cutting, hoping that others would believe me; the only person who really believed me was me.
If I could start over, I would in a heartbeat, but I can't, so instead of beating myself up, I try talking to younger teenagers about the importance of doing well in school by explaining the situation I got myself into.
Community college looks like a great opportunity. I am looking forward to taking many credits and receiving good grades. Some say going there means staying home and not having the thrill of being away at college, but I see community college as a year to turn my life around. It's my ticket out of here to wherever I want to go. I have another chance to make my future and I've promised myself I won't mess up.
Next year I will apply myself, as I am this year. They say we need to study history so we won't repeat our past; I've studied my personal history, and will avoid my mistakes in the future. I am ready for the next task in life, the only question is, is it ready for me?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.