I will be an incoming freshman at Thurgood Marshall Academy in the fall.
5 years. 5 years without them knowing. They don’t know the true me. My story begins in the 5th grade, I was a scholar at Achievement Prep. My mother always believed that there was something strange about me. I agree, I wasn’t a typical girl and I didn’t consider myself normal at all. I didn’t like to wear skirts or dresses. I hated anything that showed my skin. It was unfortunate because my school uniform consisted of a skirt. I was bullied that school year because of my appearance. Kids made fun of me for my exterior appearance but internally I was damaged as well. I was diagnosed with severe mental health problems during my 5th grade year. I was constantly attending therapy session and experiencing a lot of negative dips in life. Also, my grades started to drop. I was finally put into a mental health hospital for kids with problems similar to mine. It was therapeutic for the time that I was there, I even made a few friends -- I haven’t spoken to them in forever though.
After I was released, the therapist suggested that I take meds, my mom was heavily opposed to me taking any medication. She said I was just going through a “phase” and that it would soon pass. I transferred to Excel Academy in the 6th grade. It was weird because it was an all-girls school and I was coming from a co-ed setting. I was very insecure when I started at Excel because girls are very judgmental and I already had a lot to deal with. Despite my worries, I met my best friends during my sixth grade year. Nothing really traumatic happened that year. The trauma ensued during my 7th grade year.
It was the beginning of my 7th grade school year and everyone was already in their cliques from 6th grade. We were still getting adjusted to our new class schedule and all the new teachers. It started off pretty peaceful actually, there wasn’t really any drama. Then, one day, while we were walking to gym class some girls came behind me and cut my hair. I literally cried the whole day. I wasn't only crying about my hair being cut, I was crying because I never really associated with anyone except the people in my circle. I was just me. That's when I came to the conclusion that people took my quietness as a sign of weakness. I decided to be a little more outgoing. I started to become that goofy type of me. My 7th-grade year wasn't my best year socially, emotionally, or academically. That summer, I really started to analyze my life and think about what type of life that I wanted for myself. I know that I am still young and I have plenty of time to decide what I want to do with my life but I just felt a spark of wisdom that told me, it’s never too early to plan.
Now, I am an 8th grader and I’ve definitely matured and developed in different ways over the years. My 8th-grade year has definitely had a good amount of ups and downs. One glow of this year, is that I finally came out to my family about being bisexual. Also, another glow is that I met my girlfriend, she actually helped me find the courage to come out and I will always appreciate her for that. We actually will be attending the same high school and we’re planning on attending the same college as well, Emory University. As I’ve experienced my happy moments, I’ve also had some rough patches this year as well. For example, my family didn’t take too well to my coming out. They refused to accept my admittance of MY sexuality. My older brother didn't like the fact that I was bisexual and he would often call me gay and lesbian.
I decided against telling my father’s side of the family about my sexuality because they’re seemingly religious. I'm scared to tell them because I am afraid they will say “That's not the will of God” or “You need to start going to church.” Ultimately, it hurts to know that my own family won’t support me in a decision that I MADE about MY OWN life. It hurts to know that just because I like a certain person or gender, that my family’s view of me will be altered.
Another downfall of my 8th grade is just that, my 8th grade year. It was very disorganized. We lost so many teachers this year. Every day we had a new substitute in multiple subjects. They'd come in give us our work and sit at the teacher's desk. They hardly explained the work because they were likely unqualified for teaching positions. I was so angry at myself because I thought the teachers were leaving because of me. They were leaving because of the school as a whole and just the lack of structure. Our principal actually stepped in to teach us. However, we still lost our science and spanish class.We only have three original teachers from the beginning of the school, ONLY THREE. Our dream team of three included our social studies teacher, ELA teacher, and our teacher who could teach any subject no matter what. It all worked out though, our entire grade level is going off to high school in the fall. I guess you can say we did it.
Favorite Quote: “Don’t Kill Yourself” is a quote that has helped me through difficult times. I picked this quote because I have experienced times when I felt as though I wanted to end my life and often I do still experience these feelings. However, when things get too difficult to bear, I think about my girlfriend, my friends, and the many other people who would be hurt if I wasn’t here. I don’t want to pass my pain onto anyone by ending my life. So, everyday, even on my bad days, I am choosing to live MORE life.
My Advice: My advice for the younger scholars is to be the best YOU that you can be. I say this because this year, I spent a lot of time trying to find myself. I was often lost and afraid. I want the younger scholars to never let anyone change your views of the world or of yourself. The young human brain seems to naturally change its views whenever someone who appears knowledgeable asserts their intelligence. As a youth, we often adjust to the views of others instead of standing firm with our own beliefs. Just always strive to be your BEST self.