Choosing to Choose

Welcome to 2016 everybody! I can’t believe it’s the start of a new year! To go along with the new years’ theme of “new year, new me”, I am going to tell you a little story of 13-year-old me and how I made a decision that improved my daily life tremendously. Read on for more.
What was your school experience like? Did you have a lot of friends? Were your teachers good or bad? I have always loved learning, but middle school became a house of horrors. I knew something had to change.

 

I grew up in a fairly well off area, my school district was one of the richest in my state, so I had quite a few snobby rich kids for classmates. This was not a huge problem in elementary school. The school environment was smaller, and the community was more tight-knit, less hoity-toity. When I got to middle school, I became a target for some of the kids. I am by no means athletic, and my personal outfit of choice for the school day was a zippered jacket, sweat pants, and slip-on tennis shoes. I cringe looking back at that, but twelve-year-old Hannah had never liked denim jeans, and she had not heard of jeggings. She also never thought to give ballet flats a try. In reality, my wardrobe choices were not the only thing that made me an outsider. I just was not the outgoing, athletic, popular girl that was the epitome of all the “normal ” girls at that school.

So, in November of my eighth grade year, after receiving a postcard from a private school, I decided to explore my options. I looked at a couple different parochial schools as well as another Christian school. None really stuck out, but they all sound better than the 1600+ student public high school I was “supposed” to go to. In January, I took the High School Placement Test (HSPT) which was required by the parochial schools. The following week, my mom sent me an email about a school she read about in the local paper. It was a small independent private middle and high school that seemed like the perfect fit. I decided to have a shadow day at the school, and I loved it. Everyone was so welcoming and kind, and the teachers didn’t come off as being better than the students. Teachers go by first names, and the students know that they still should show respect, even if that is not always the case. I knew from that day that I had to go there. It was a school that was made for me.
I am still young, and I don’t have a lot of great stories to tell, but this is one of them. I could have survived public high school, but the school I went to was a much better fit. I realize that I am extremely lucky to have parents who are able to send me to MY best school, and I am forever grateful. If there is a change or a choice you want to make, don’t be afraid to take the first step. You never know what path you might take.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on Twitter at @hannahhaefele

 

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