Growing up with an NVLD I was proud to be in a district that supported students with learning disabilities as it allowed me to be successful, however going after a challenge and taking on new experiences weren’t really promoted which was discouraging as I believe this is so important for maximum success.
For example when I chose to continue with regents (college prep) courses, my resource room teacher didn’t support it because of all the extra work required and she knew I didn’t need these classes to graduate. While this was true for my college choice,s these courses were necessary to meet the admissions requirements. Fortunately, after successfully completing the first two classes, she was able to realize how for some taking the harder path can be the better choice. However, unfortunately, in my district this kind of practice was not the norm.
What was especially discouraging for me was the lack of knowledge my support team had of the comprehensive support programs that traditional colleges offered. Regretfully, they believed the best option for students like myself was the local college. To me this was upsetting as they were limiting opportunities for personal, social, and academic growth. I think about my time at Dean and Curry college and honestly I experienced a tremendous amount of success and created life-long friendships. Once I talked to my counselor about my happiness and success during college he started to see the benefits of comprehensive programs though it was disappointing that he didn’t know about them before.
This mindset was especially frustrating during my senior year as it was sending me the message that life after high school is easy. Unfortunately it is not and it’s why your senior course schedule should be among your hardest. You are preparing for the future and with the support of your resource room teacher and counselor now is the time to take on challenges, I know personally taking a full academic program all 4 years of high school allowed me to do well in college as I knew what challenges were.
Besides challenging yourself, you will find you enjoy those teachers the most. By challenging myself and finding success I became more confident. For me this was so true. In my harder courses I participated more which lead to building great relationships with my teachers. I also went for extra help which allowed me to have strong personal connections unlike in my less challenging classes where I felt “stupid” and my relationship with that teacher was not as strong.
Overall as you read this, by taking on these challenges it may seem hard to see how they will help you in the future. I know all too well challenging yourself increases your self-worth. Accepting these challenges will require hard work on your end and you may feel like it is not worth it. Adults will say there’s an easier path for you but I recommend you should choose to take a more challenging path as it can lead to great success.
I will always be so grateful for my wonderful experiences.Share your own story