My first two years of high school have been a learning curve. Coming out of grade eight, I had made the decision to start my grade nine year off at a local high school. My original thoughts were to attend UMEI; unfortunately, our money situation was not ideal and tuition was costly. So, I scratched that idea. Halfway through my first year of high school I began to struggle socially and academically. My grades were dropping considerably and I was constantly anxious. Overall, I did not feel happy. That’s not what high school was supposed to be like. I felt like I was losing myself rather than finding myself. High school is supposed to be an experience where you find yourself; a place to fit in, discover your likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
My travel volleyball coach, Jim Konrad, noticed that I was struggling and suggested I attend my grade ten year at a different school…UMEI. I did some research and decided to contact the school. We booked a tour and a meeting with the principal. Before the tour had even ended, I knew what I desired. I had made the decision to attend UMEI. By a generous donor in the community, the costs were no longer a concern. I was signed up and prepared to start at UMEI.
I had preconceived thoughts of myself having a repeat of my grade nine year, so I was a bit concerned when I started. On the first day, all those thoughts had disappeared. Taking my first steps into the school, I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. As I walked around looking for classes, people stopped to ask how my first day was going and if I needed any help. I had never experienced that at my previous school. I felt welcomed!
Nearing the end of my first semester, I am 100% certain that I made the right decision. I’ve brought my grades up remarkably, I’ve found a great group of friends and, finally, I feel happy. Happier than ever.
Written by: Iseonna Silliker