The Education Process by Shauntai Smith So, it’s going on three years and I’ve been dedicating my precious time, hard work and patience to the most crappy school known to mankind, New Dawn High. If the beige prison walls weren’t enough to drive me insane my teachers definitely passed that test with flying colors. As you can probably guess this was not my favorite place to be. For starters, everyone began at 7AM and left at 4PM which is awfully long compared to the average school day and for some strange reason the fact that this didn’t bother anyone else bothered me even more. As I began to rest my legs on a chair that was laid out before me, I couldn’t help but think about my future, my life and what I wanted it to be like. My fellow classmates were “grown”, either they were in their early 20’s, the loudest babymothers you’ve ever heard, babyfathers trying to get their life together, pregnant girls, dropouts, drop back ins, thugs and so on the list goes. All the kids were either sleeping or sleeping, exactly. I hated it there. For three years I felt misunderstood like no one including the teachers got what my “problem” was. I had no intentions on coming to this school you know, my teachers could feel my uninterested aura every time class begun. How could learning things like how to perfectly dissect a pig or finding the circumference of a sphere be valuable to my life? I couldn’t focus because as they read from their over-sized textbooks that could barely fit into their hands my mind would fade out,blocking their words like it was nothing. I was the smartest, always thinking ahead of my classmates so I knew I wasn’t the problem. I then grew tired of what was expected of my education process. A little talk with my kind, loving and extremely supportive parents led me to really think about my next move. So, I dropped out going against everything society thought to be true about the learning system being “needed” for one to succeed I thought to myself “you gotta make ditching school count for something”. Every morning I got my ass up with only one thought in my mind, money. I had no idea that I was in for a rude awakening but let me get to that part. It’s Friday! I could feel my check already in my hands before it actually got to me. Shopping, Chipotle and even a bit of weed all circled continuously in my head as I stood in line to grab my envelope with the words “shauntai smith” on it. I’ve never seen my name on anything regarding to money, just turning 17 I had no idea what to expect but I knew whatever came out of that envelope was mine, all mine. I reach for my envelope and there it was staring at me and sadly to my surprise I stared back in disbelief. It wasn’t a very good number at all. A total of $296.75, more like a total of disappointment. My nose began to burn. I was fully aware that I was a few seconds from crying and thinking of how much the money did not match the pay nor the amount of energy that was expected at all times. How much could I expect from a job that let a high school dropout like myself come work for them at 17. I was a baby compared to my fellow coworkers. They had children, rent, mortgages and yet they were still were comfortable. They collected their money every week happily without a complaint in the world. At this point I began to question everything. Do I really want to be here, working my ass off for hours and hours to receive a shitty paycheck or do I want to feel good about the work I do along with a higher pay-grade? The one thing I knew is that I did not want to be like these women who were stuck under these circumstances because they couldn’t or didn’t want to commit to school as well as furthering their education. Being 17 definitely gave me an advantage in life, countless room for growth and promising opportunities. I still had a pretty good chance to get my life back on track, this pushed me to make another decision and this one might just be my best one yet! Trying to grow up too fast wasn’t in my best interest and this dreadful draining place was not where I was meant to be. The next morning I enrolled myself in a GED program. I’m aware that pursuing my GED wasn’t going to be an easy task, shit if anything it would be tougher to gather all the information i’d have to learn within 9 months in only 2 . This new school had everyone be registered to take the test in 2 months to eliminate the feel of high school (music to my ears). The school understood my concept, all I wanted was to get a diploma so I can study a subject of my choice for once in 12 years. Two teachers taught all four subjects and they got the job done! They made everything easier to memorize and took the complicity away from subjects. I sat in the front of every class, breathed in every technique and material my instructors had given us. I knew I could not play around with my future anymore. I couldn’t be the old lady at some job getting paid less for more. Day in and day out I studied my life away, attended each tutoring session I could get my foot in. At this point in my education process putting my inner feelings to the side to receive that diploma I was so ready to get was the top priority. The day for testing came quicker than the flash! My baggy sweats and furry sweater comforted me in my long hours of sitting down and answering questions. I received the news exactly 2 weeks from the day I took it and to my surprise I passed. I passed everything, all five subjects in one shot. I realized that it was not about me in particular, I didn’t have to be the best I just had to want it more than anything else and let fate take it’s toll.