Rewards Greater Than Gold

School always feels smaller after you graduate.

-Anonymous

Looking back at it now, school life back then did look pretty small after you go through college. Elementary, Junior High, Senior High. If I had to describe them now, I would embody them as independent islands. An isolated colony that resides far from my home and the only way to get to these islands was to be ferried by bus.

Year after year. All of my life, I have been obediently following a set schedule and path that has been predetermined for me. Get up. Get on the bus. Complete school objectives. Come home. Homework. Everyday the same thing. Now after what feels like a lifetime of hard work, diligence, homework, jerks, barriers, discoveries, it was finally time to close this chapter in my life.

Graduation. The time of freedom, choices, direction, goodbyes, ambitions, and rewards. What else can I say? I was happy. I have spent my entire life bouncing from one School Island to another. And after four years of High School, there are plenty of rewards to reap.

My first prize was for my diligence and hard work toward my studies was rewarded with a 3.5 GPA average and a prominent place on the School’s Honor Roll for many years.

For my newly polished literary and writing skills, the before mentioned Seniors Writing Guild for the English paper My Eagle Project.

Next was from the National Honors Society and Beta Club. Anyone who participates in these clubs is assigned a set number of service hours to complete before graduation. Being part of the Boy Scouts, I had no trouble finding service hour opportunities. When my requirement was met for both clubs, I was given recognition for my time and services to the communities.

Finally, the Outstanding Seniors Reward. This is a rare prestigious reward for any High School student. Once a year, the mayor of my city would hold a banquet for the most amazing High School seniors from different schools. In 2007, 45 students and their families from 45 different schools were invited to take part. And I was chosen to represent my school that year. I think back to those early years, when so many school officials didn’t think I had what it takes to survive such advanced courses. The head honchos thought that I was too different, too slow, not ready to take on high school or even college level courses. I would have liked to invite them all that night to the banquet, just to show them how wrong they were. All that I needed was a chance to prove myself.

I have had good times, and I have had bad times as well. But I didn’t let the bad things trip me up too badly. I didn’t let up and I didn’t give up my dreams to some little stones on my path.

“Steps to enlightenment brighten the way; but the steps are steep. Take them one at a time.” -Cheshire Cat (American McGee’s Alice)

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