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Sandwiched by Two Geniuses

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As many of you know, AP classes in high school are hard. They push you past your limit and still expect you to exceed expectations. I remember staying up until two am in the morning, books deep in research trying to come up with the perfect conclusion to an essay on Rhetoric Language trying to hold back tears because I knew that despite my best efforts, my work will still be lacking. I try my hardest, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes my best efforts, are only a means to the end. Struggling through the class I did have my parents support. They encouraged me through each assignment and were more than willing to sit down with me and work out things I didn’t understand. Their support helped pushed me through all the barriers I encountered. Although they were able to help me after school, at school itself, I felt very alone. I didn’t have that extra bit of love that I needed to push through my obstacles. I found myself tongue tied and awkward when asked questions. My brain would stop working and I’d feel myself dysfunction. I wanted to continue with the AP class because I knew it was benefitting me for the better, I could feel my writing growing stronger and my mind expanding to the world around me. But it's difficult to continue with a class when you're too nervous to even raise your hand. Thankfully, that's were my best friend came in. She supported me through all the barriers, she knew I was shy but stuck with me through it all. When I felt inferior and she’d tell me I was smart. When I felt confused she offered up explanations. She made me feel so much better, and the shaking in my hands ceased to exist.  It was nice to know that even if I messed up or said something stupid I’d have someone who’d be willing to laugh with me about it later, or cry with me if I needed it. She was my support, and I did try my hardest to say things during discussions. Even if they were watered down ideas she encouraged me to enrich them more. My best friend sat right next to me, my own little parachute for when I was falling. I was barely scraping through the class, even with my supporting best friend. Then, of course, there was a seating switch. I was completely devastated. My friend happens to easily get along with other kids in the class so I knew that leaving me would probably be the best. While she was more like a parachute for when I was falling, I was more like big heavy rock she had to carry on the way down. It was for the best, I was hindering her education. So I accepted the seating switch, doing my best to keep a calm face and braced myself for the incoming people. Fate must’ve decided to test me, or maybe it just liked bullying me but not only did it take away my support, it decided to put up a new barrier. A big barrier. I’m not kidding, two of the smartest, class participating, debating masters were to sit next to me. I felt small, so inferior to these great masses of intelligence. Inferiority was something I always dealt with. It was a problem that grew on me like skin, but this new feeling of inferiority was more like a straight jacket. I felt helpless to the point where my voice had a slight quiver as it came up from my throat. Of course, now I had to have small group discussions with them. Of course, they’d think I was an idiot, because I can’t even talk to someone in the eyes. My throat felt dried up and I was completely, utterly shocked. As the class continued on I didn’t know how to react at first. Should I just play it cool? Act as if I know what I’m talking about? Of course, that’s what I tried to do. I did my best to spit out ideas and thoughts but they weren’t as well thought out as I had hoped they’d be. They obviously weren’t too impressed. While I rambled on about thoughts and ideas. They presented their ideas orderly and gracefully. Almost poetically. I was amazed at how deep and collective their thoughts were. I was basically a kiddy pool compared to their vast ocean like knowledge. But just like how one might like to watch the ocean push and pull its waves on a moonlit night, I felt the same captivating beauty by just listening to their words. Despite the fact we were all speaking plain English, something about their speech seemed so foreign. Like a foreign accent, different and riveting compared to my regular words. I figured that maybe I could learn something. The shaking in my hands has stayed the same. I am still scared of this ocean, it’s depth is something unimaginable and I have only seen the surface of what this majesty holds. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, but if I were to embrace this ocean. Learn to not fear this vast different world. Perhaps I will get the chance to deepen my own waters.

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