Success at School . . . for the first time in forever

I want to share my success story, because a) I know now that I’m not the only one who has struggled, and b), I want to have it written down so I can re-tell it again someday. :wink:

In preschool, my teachers thought that I showed signs of learning disabilities. However, I went to a small private school and for some reason I was never tested. The school closed after I finished kindergarten and I went to another private school for first grade. I know that my teacher thought I was dumb; I struggled a lot in math, and she didn’t want to teach me to read. When she did, I took off and finished the year with a fourth grade reading level.

The year after that, my grandma decided to homeschool me. She had been a public school teacher for forty years and decided that if no one would help me, she would.

Except she didn’t. She labeled me “irresponsible”, “lazy”, and – my least favorite word: “careless”. She said that if I only tried harder, I wouldn’t forget my homework, lose my papers, or make bad grades. She punished me if I ever got a C or lower, and I vividly remember the single time I ever got a D.

Nevertheless, despite my “shortcomings”, I graduated at sixteen with a 4.0 GPA. I headed off to my local community college, where I spent my first semester taking two classes. I declared myself a special education major because I’ve always loved kids and have an interest in learning disabilities.

I passed the semester again with a 4.0 GPA. I decided to go full-time for the summer semester, but I failed. I chalked it up to the teacher and class material.

During this time, I decided that I wanted to switch to music therapy. My school didn’t offer that, so I applied to a prestigious music school nearby and was accepted to the university it’s affiliated with. Then I auditioned and was accepted to the music school itself. I had a year before my start date there, so I continued at my community college.

I failed, miserably. I dropped five credits during fall and didn’t even finish the spring semester. My grandma found and told me that the nine years she spent teaching me were a waste of her life.

I have known all my life that I am different, but I didn’t know how to be normal. I decided once and for all that I was going to find out if I have a learning disability or not. My new school’s counseling office offers assessment, so I took it. In October of this year, I was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability! FINALLY, it’s not my fault… my brain is wired differently than most’s.

So, here we are. I have accommodations and I DIDN’T FAIL ANY CLASSES, even though I’m taking 15 credits. I have earned a full ride scholarship and kept it; I’m part of the international honor society for two-year-colleges, Phi Theta Kappa; I’m part of my school’s Honors College. Due to my past troubles, I have a peer mentor who has helped my confidence a lot this semester . . . and last week, the program director asked me if I would consider being a peer mentor starting Fall 2020. I am SO excited.

Thanks to a diagnosis earlier this year, I am no longer failing college and I am not a failure. :heart:

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Congratulations on all your success! Great work!

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Wow congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your story it’s absolutely inspiring :blush:

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Keep up the good work and u go girl

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That is a great accomplishment. Congratulations!

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Congratulations that’s great to hear!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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Thank you, all! I have to admit I’m really excited to be working with incoming freshmen/transfer students as a Peer Academic Leader/Peer mentor next semester! :smiley: I really can’t wait to inspire my peers and be inspired by them. This opportunity is the one I’m most excited about, quite honestly.

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I also knew my whole life that I was different from the others, and I always knew there was something wrong with how my brain worked. But I did not know how to be normal, until I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after I diagnosed myself with ADHD.

I dropped out of college because it was too much for me to handle, and the break up with my boyfriend. But i made a come back and started sixth form again, and it turns out that achieved a lot and was my schools biggest success story! I did well, got good grades and made sure I would not fail. I had a teacher as an academic coach to guide me through the weeks of managing my work. But i also came up with my own coping strategies. I realized that it is very much a motivational thing - this is what drives me to do well. I only passed my A levels because I found that inner determination in me!!! And I hope you found yours also.

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@Alexia_Husson

Great story!

Welcome to a great bunch of unique, talented and creative people. Sometimes we know this . . . And sometimes we need to hear it from others. Motivation is what makes our strengths go to work for us . . . Keep up the good work!

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