Senior good-bye: Which senior? All of you

May 23, 2016

Dear Bettendorf High School,

     I did it after four long years, I will be walking across that stage and moving my tassel to the left side of my cap. Leaving this high school will be bitter sweet. I have learned many lessons in these halls and not just academically.

When I first started here I was lost, like most freshmen. Things were rough for me. The change from middle school to high school was a big shock, I just couldn't handle. I forced myself to be sick, so I could just miss school, and I made poor decisions by not doing my work.  

     Now I write to tell you not a story of woe, but a tale of how I overcame these difficulties. My hope is that, by talking about my journey, I can somehow help someone else.

     At the end of my freshman year, I decided to make a change. Now this change was not very big, but I decided I was not happy with my grades, and I wanted to improve. So in my sophomore year I decided to work even harder. Each year I decided to work on something new, something that would improve how I fit into the high school. My sophomore year I worked on how I interacted with other students and teachers, so not to be negative. My junior year I tried to advocate for myself more. Now at the end of my senior year all the things I have worked on have led me to one of the hardest but the best accomplishment:  self acceptance.

Each year has led me closer to this step but without going through each year and the struggle inside that year, I would have not gotten where I am today.

     Self acceptance is one of the most important things I have learned.  Just knowing that you matter and that you can make a difference changes your view of the world completely. It’s like I have an Invisible armor, an armor that is beautifully crafted to fit only you, but allows you to shine.

     Now these changes did not happen overnight; I fell down the ladder many times, believing I could never get back up again. Thanks to the teachers, counselors and administration who helped pushed me back up again and again, I was able to overcome these challenges with their help.

     Now these changes in my life have played a major role and helped for the better. These changes, though, did not come until I made the decision to have a better outlook on my life.    

     Thank you, Bettendorf High School, for teaching me skills I can use the rest of my life.

Sincerely, A Senior  

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