A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Student Life

Making the best out of the worst situation

  What happens after someone gets expelled from middle school? That’s a question I had to ask myself in 8th grade. Life has a way of putting us in negative situations, but I learned these experiences can have positive outcomes, and those outcomes can change us into better people.

  Sitting in the office lounge I waited, knowing that I messed up, I was ashamed of myself. What had happened? This was not me; this was not who I wanted to be.

  My assistant principal walked up me up to her office. I told her all about the situation, but that wasn’t enough. Although my actions were what defined me at that moment, they do not reflect who I was. I am not proud of the choices I made, and I cannot reverse my actions. There’s no sugar coating the topic. I messed up, and this was my biggest mess up of all.  

  Before getting kicked out of school I was immature: I played around, never did any homework, and disregarded the people trying to help me.

  In school, I was respectful to the teachers, students, and staff. It was at home where my immaturity took place. Of course, I loved my parents and appreciated their support , but never took school seriously. I couldn’t accept that my education was the ticket to my future.

  It was during my expulsion that this immature mindset would change.

  During my expulsion, I was sent to a program at Harderwyk Ministries called Neighbors Plus. They offer an Alternative Suspension Program where I did all my assignments for my classes, and learned how to be more positive and behave maturely. The mentors had the biggest impact on me; they changed my mindset and taught me how to view my life in a more positive way.

  A mentor named Ray was one of them who truly understood me. He explained to me that there was good and evil in this world, but in your life you have to balance them out. One moment I remember is when I went to him with a problem that occurred in my life. This is what he told me “People will either forget or forgive in this world”. After he told me that I ran with it and it opened me up a little to how people act in this world.

Another mentor named Angie showed me that having faith is a great way to keep yourself positive and centered. She truly cared about me. I remember when I got back into school, a few weeks past by. One day I got called down to the office, I was confused at the time because it was just the beginning of the day, what could I of done wrong already. Walking into the office I realized that I had not done anything wrong. The Receptionist lady told me that someone was waiting for me in the back room, as I walked over I could see from the window of the room it was Angie from my suspension program. She had came to visit me and It was one of the best feelings ever. The feeling of knowing that someone cares enough to come back and check up on you is great.

  After experiencing the love and guidance at Harderwyk, I realized there was more to life than just going with the flow, and I finally took control of my life. I stopped focusing on the negativity and found a much needed balance.

  I realized that I had control over myself and I was the only one responsible for my actions, whether they be good or bad.. So I did my part; I acted upon my problems and solved them the best I could. I wasn’t easy, and it took time, but I wanted to my best, and now I knew what I was capable of.

  While being expelled, I learned that self-discipline is essential to becoming successful. Although I had mentors looking out for me at Harderwyk, it was up to me to learn self-discipline and take my life into my own hands; I was the one in charge. I proved to them that I was capable of doing my work and that my maturity level was rising exponentially.

  There was a drastic change in my mindset when I got back to school. I started thinking more positively. Instead of having negativity surrounding me physically and mentally, I would go out and find positivity or create it myself if I had to. Getting outside, being around friends and family, and meditation helped me shift back into a positive mindset.

  At a young age, I learned that our choices don’t define who we are. Obviously, it will give someone a certain reputation and people will judge; however, just like we make bad choices, we are always capable of making good choices.  

  

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