Why Were You Like This?

Ife Ajayi
Prof. Hall
Eng 1121
12 February 2019

Final Draft

I’m sitting alone at the dining table when all of a sudden I hear footsteps approaching my way. Both my parents walk in with familiar disappointed looks on their faces. Looks they would usually have when I would get in trouble with a teacher or come home with unacceptable grades. So I knew exactly why they looked that way and why they came. They wanted to know the specific reasons why I made the choices I did. More specifically, why I kept on making those choices over and over again. My parents have had several talks with me about education and how important it is to have one. They would go on and on about how education is required for a successful future. And how miserable life would be without one. Sometimes in the middle of those discussions I would think about all the people that are successful who didn’t go to college. I never brought this up to my parents though because I knew exactly what they would say. They would tell me that I don’t have to be like them and I’m better off going to college. It’s not that I wanted to be like those people, it’s just that they shouldn’t be looked down upon just because college wasn’t for them. Especially if they aren’t on the streets begging but instead doing something productive with their lives.

When the question of why I kept making bad decisions in school came up I completely froze. I had no idea of what to say. All I could see were my parents staring me straight in the face waiting for answers. The longer I took the more impatient they got. My dad then said, “I’m waiting for an answer.” I was very nervous and began to shake because of fear of being a disappointment to the family. But when I would make the choices to cut class, talk while the teacher was talking, not do any homework, not study for any exams I didn’t think that. I basically would just go to school and come back home without learning anything. It felt like a never ending cycle. I just wasn’t interested in school at that time. I didn’t have the guts to tell my parents any of that though because I know how they are. “Can you open your mouth and talk,” said my mother. “Hurry up, you’re wasting time,” then followed my dad. At this point I just decided to tell them what I thought would be a good enough excuse. “My teachers don’t know how to do their jobs, they can barely even teach because of how disruptive the students are,” I said. “Aren’t you one of those disruptive students?” asked my dad. The room went silent after that rhetorical question was asked.

My father began talking about how I shouldn’t be giving him any excuses and that I should just own up to my bad behavior. My mother shook her head and walked away in disappointment. I felt really bad because I hated seeing that look on her face. It made me feel like I was letting her down and in all honesty I really was. I wasn’t putting in any effort to become a better student. My mother would always tell me that I had the potential to be one of the best students. My father would also tell me the same thing and it’s not that I didn’t believe them I was just very lazy with my education in high school. After hours of talking and me almost dozing off every once in awhile my father finally asked me if there was anything I had to say for myself. I said no but that wasn’t a good enough answer for him, it never was. I told him that I would do better in my academics and not hang with the wrong crowd. “You can and you will,” he said. He then got up and walked away. I continued sitting in the same spot just daydreaming and thinking about what to do with myself.

One day I sat down and thought long and hard about my next moves and the steps I needed to take to make them. I needed to make sure that I ended high school strong. I started off high school strong but then I started to slack and by the time I knew it, it was the end of my eleventh grade year and I was barely on track to graduate. I told myself that it’s not too late to get on track so I could graduate on time. I wanted to be a better student. Sometimes I think it was the fear of being embarrassed that made me want to turn everything around but as time went by I realized it was fear of not being able to pursue the career I desire. I realized that what I ended up doing from there on out were steps to determining how my future would turn out. I didn’t want to end up on the streets regretting my whole childhood because of the mistakes I made in high school. I was also sick and tired of being pushed from grade to grade. I use to think that I didn’t deserve to move on to the next grade but I did every time. I guess you could just say I was lucky. I wanted to know that I deserved moving on to a higher level of education. People would always tell me that it’s not good to work from behind meaning that I should’ve been on top of my game from the beginning and not wait until it’s almost too late to try and work my way up.

Twelfth grade ended up being my best year of high school. I was determined and motivated to prove to myself that I have what it takes to excel in my studies. I worked harder than ever in all my classes and I managed to get good grades each marking period. I had a few teachers who supported me and made sure that I was always on task. I’m still til this day very thankful for their help towards my education. With their support and the support of my parents I became on track to graduate before the school year was over. I was very relieved when my guidance counselor told me that I would be graduating with the rest of my peers who were on track. I was happy that I would be walking across the stage with my friends and declared a graduate. The rest of the marking periods went by and I was stress free. I had nothing to worry about academic wise. I eventually graduated and was thrilled to be leaving that school and never going back.

Looking back on my previous years of schooling always makes me wonder what I could’ve done differently to be a better student. When I think back to all those times I would get into trouble I’m always clueless as to why. My excuse is always that I just wasn’t interested in school back then. But was that really the reason why I was so miserable? I don’t even know myself. I was such a moody and chaotic student ever since I even started attending school. I remember in elementary school when I use to get in trouble for behavior problems. Teachers use to send me out of their classes and into different classrooms. In middle school it was the same process but even worse. I surrounded myself with the wrong crowd and not having a care in the world. Then high school came by and I wanted to change but ended up getting lazy with the process and almost not graduating. I’m just glad that I was able to make it through and not give up on myself. I hope that in college I can be strong academic wise til the end so I can aspire a bright future.

My marginal comments are HERE. My endnote and grade are in the comment section. 

Leave a Reply