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Happy at Home This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Palm Bay, FL
I had fully planned on attending high school. Honest. I had already missed middle school, so there was no way I was missing out on “the best years of my life.” But, when the time came to enroll or continue home-schooling, I picked the latter.

Why? All I had dreamed about was having a huge group of friends, possibly meeting a guy I thought was incredible, and having a shiny, gray locker. What grade school student doesn't look forward to her own locker? I still have yet to open one.

You see, the closer I got to school, the less appealing everything looked. I'm heading into my last year of high school and still don't care about a graduation ceremony or the prom. I'm positive that I'll never look back on these years with regrets.

How do I know that I didn't miss out? How do I know that something amazing wouldn't have happened if I'd just gone to school? ­Because without home-schooling I know I would never have picked up a pen. I love to write, but in school my whole class hated it. The room would fill with groans when it was time to pull out our writing folders. I would suppress a smile and fake a groan with everyone else.

I'm now also a proud book devourer. Reading only when it is required is something I'm sure I would still be doing had I remained in the classroom.

I'm stronger now. I'm not going to dislike something just because my friends do. Or ignore someone because everyone else does. I see that high school band, film, or theater geek, and I smile. Never before would I have admitted to admiring them. They know who they are and aren't afraid to pass up mainstream activities to pursue their own interests. Home-schooling helped me learn to be strong and independent-minded.

That's how I know I haven't missed out. I don't conform to what everyone thinks is normal. Sure, home-schooling is not for everyone. Neither is public school. People will always ask me if I feel I missed out on my high school years. The answer will always be no.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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