As I approach college, I wish to reflect on who I really am, as a student and most importantly as a person. The following is my story about my social/academic struggles in and how I overcame this with help from my friends, family and self-belief.
Elementary school was not easy for me. Homework took hours for me. By third grade, we found out I had Tourette Syndrome (TS). Although extra services and reduced assignments would have greatly helped me, I was not granted a 504-plan. Looking back, I truly believe this extra help would have changed my negative view of school.
I had a passion for sports but not given much playing time on teams. I was generally that kid who was picked last. I do not hold any grudges though, I have only learned and grown from this experience. There were pockets of good times with great teachers who really cared for me and my very loving family.
The struggles continued in middle school because of TS and ADHD. I gravitated to sports as they helped ease the pain of school, learning, and my tics. My guidance counselor noticed my struggles and succeeded in me getting a 504 plan for high school. This was the point in my life where I began to transition and grow.
Even with the 504-plan, high school was difficult. Thank goodness for football. I found great friends who helped relieve much of the academic stresses and coping with Tourettes. Having football, friends, and a loving family saved me. Life was not perfect, but I was overall happy and felt included.
With football, there were many days I second judged my abilities as a player. I would show up to hours of practices, hours of film, and during the most frigid of temperatures at games when I would not be in one single play. I refused to give up or think negatively. I kept working hard and eventually got more playing time due to the great amount of effort displayed during every practice.
Amazingly, come junior year I was voted team captain. This honor triggered me to believe in myself and capabilities. Even though I’m not the top of the class and I must work harder than everyone else, I learned that personal achievement is not based on the number of certificates and awards received. What is most important is trying your best, being kind, and having a loving family. If you live those ideals, everything seems to just fall into place.