My years in high school were a dramatic pint in my life. With all the raging hormones of adolescence and the identity crisis of teenage years, it was quite a rollercoaster. Peer pressure was a daily part of my life. I was always under the constant pressure to fit in. My activities were always full of mischief and a lot of misdemeanor. I joined a group of indiscipline students, and all we could do was to cause trouble to other students as well as our teachers. We never followed the rules we were very notorious for the destruction of school property. We drew graffiti on the walls and broke window panes whenever we were illegally playing inside buildings. These building included the school amphitheater and the assembly hall.
Our class attendance was very poor; we were accustomed to skipping lessons. I and my friends could hide in some corner and play cards and other board games while the rest of the school was in class. It reached a point when suspensions became the order of the day. We could not go for more than two weeks before one of us was suspended. It was during these times that we got into drug abuse. We started with smoking cigarettes then progressed to harder substances such as cannabis, colloquially known as “weed.” Instead of attending school we would find a place where we would idle as we waste away with the drugs.
My class performance took a nosedive. The grades I attained were so dismal, and I remember retaking my sophomore year twice. Nevertheless, I did not care much about that. I had lost focus of my life, and I was moving with whichever current that was strong enough to sweep me away. One fateful day, I and my friends attempted to steal jewelry from a local shop. Unfortunately, we got captured and handed over to law enforcement. Our case was a delinquency, and we were to pay a fine or face jail time in a juvenile prison. I had never been this scared in my entire life. Luckily, my parents came to my rescue, and they paid the fine. That is when I realized that I need to listen to my parents more.
One morning when I got back to school, my history teacher summoned me to his office for a talk. He told me point blank that I was wasting my life; and if I don’t make a change for the better, I would end up either dead or in prison. He also reminded me of the great potential that I had. Furthermore, he advised me that drugs will eventually destroy my life irreparably and was willing help redeem me from this problem. I took time to digest that advice and upon brainstorming extensively, I decided that my life was a train wreck, and I needed to take swift action to salvage myself.
I agreed to his help offer we started canceling sessions with him whereby he would guide and mentor me. One important fact than my history teacher emphasized was that choices have consequences. He went on to add that the actions an individual makes at the present affect the outcomes of the future. This was also tried on my friends, but his efforts failed miserably. All his advice fell on deaf ears. They went on with their wayward behaviors and eventually one got shot by the police. The others ultimately wound up in jail.
The result of my choice to listen began to show when my grades started improving. In fact, I had made a remarkable improvement that really impressed my history teacher. Due to this, he organized for me a sports scholarship with the school basketball team. I had no words to thank him. I began training and within no time I was an outstanding basketball player. In my final year in high school, our team went all the way to the national championship, and we emerged victorious. We won a huge amount of prize money, and each of the team members got a college scholarship. For this reason, I tip my hat to my high school history teacher. He saved my life and set it on a good course.
Inspired by, “The story of My Life”. (Keller, 1954)
Keller, H. (1954). The story of my life. Library of Alexandria.