Having recently graduated from high school, I can say with confidence that it was a special kind of hell. It was a place where while I went by choice, I regretted being there every day for some new reason. Yet I pushed through it, enjoying all the good times to be had.

I found pride in every success, it was amazing to see a report card with all A’s on it. The grades weren’t what I was truly proud of though. My pride came from knowing that I’d mastered a subject. When I got an A, to me it meant I’d learned everything I could from that class.

Through the first few years of high school it seemed like the classes were just too easy. Because of that ease in material, I found a competition with my peers to be exhilarating. Yet, as the years went by it seemed like more and more of my peers became concerned with the grades over the knowledge.

Copying on homework was one thing, yet many of the people I loved to compete with began to copy on tests. Our small test by test competitions had become more a matter of class rank to them, and I had no wish to participate in that type of race.

A few of my close friends joked that I was hit with Senioritis my junior year, but I was simply disappointed in what I saw around me. I began to lose interest in school simply because the system seemed so corrupt around me.

Despite all the nonsense that I saw around me, I took pride in knowledge and moved away from the petty competition of rank. I kept to my honor and valued the work I did put in. Even though I knew I was just becoming lazier with my disillusionment, I still put in the work where it mattered to me.

My junior and senior years in high school showed a great slump in my academic performance as shown by grades. I knew that I was doing what I wanted though, my test scores and my understanding of the classes I enjoyed was just as great as ever.Even as I saw my peers cheating in AP classes, I stuck to what I believed in. I refused to fall prey to the mentality that everyone was doing it so it was ok.

I caused my situation to be harder than it should have been simply because I sought a challenge. I was always pushing the envelope with my teachers, even taunting a few of them to make the work harder. But even when I the work got extremely difficult, I wanted to succeed simply of my own knowledge.

Somehow I find more pride in knowing that I finished on my own than knowing that I finished. I couldn’t care less about the ranks and the games involved with high school. I think it was an interesting experience to work through so much that I didn’t agree with going on around me. I worked from my knowledge and my understanding, and never looked for an easy way out. And despite the fact that I was a terrible student my last two years, I’m happy with the experience as a whole.


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