High School Diploma

Receiving my high school diploma not only meant a great deal to me, but was perhaps one of the most rewarding moments of my life because I was the first person in my family to graduate. This may seem a little strange or possibly be hard to believe in these days, but every member of my family before me dropped out of school for one reason or another. I guess what also made graduating so rewarding was the fact that no one ever expected me, of all people, to succeed. Not only did I end up becoming proud of myself for staying in school and ending up in college, but my mom and brother were very proud of me because I have ended up doing something with my life. I know I made them proud by furthering my education and setting higher goals for my self.

When I was growing up my brother was always the “smarter one” of the two of us, so naturally everyone thought he would be the first to graduate, but he never got that chance. Times got hard between my parents so they split up, and eventually got divorced. My brother felt that it was his responsibility to help my mom out with paying bills so he dropped out of high school and got a full time job. Although he never actually graduated he eventually went back to get his GED. I suppose it was when my parents spilt and my brother dropped out that school became less important to me. Although my mom always made sure I was in school, she was always too busy to make sure I was doing okay. My dad, on the other hand, never really had any influence on my life or rather I stayed in school or not. Graduating from high school just wasn’t something that was expected of me, sure it would make everyone proud of me, but no one ever really pushed me.

School became something that I didn’t enjoy and I couldn’t wait to get out of. I never had “good grades,” I just always did enough to get by. I moved around a lot and I think it was hard for me to ever feel settled in school. I was always in trouble with my teachers and was often seen as the class clown or the cute little goofy kid with the curly black hair. My family never thought I would pass grade school and then suddenly I was in high school. When I started high school my mom was more settled then she had been, and fortunately I remained at the same school for all four years. I met all of my best friends, got involved in football, and although school was probably more of a place to socialize, I was determined to graduate so that I could prove my family wrong.
When I finally got to walk across the stage and receive my diploma I was so happy because I knew I had done it. Sitting amongst my friends and watching all the people around me smile to see us all succeed was one of the proudest moments in my life. Suddenly, however, I realized that it had nothing to do with proving anyone wrong, but proving to my self that I could do it, and I had. Sure, I could have probably worked harder and made better grades, but it was so inspiring to realize that I could start over now and learn from mistakes that I had made in the past. All of my family was there to see me graduate and there isn’t a better feeling than being surrounded by those you love during your best moments.

I know I would not be the person I am today if I did not pass high school or took the easy way out and quit. My mom and my brother are very proud of me and are supporting me in every way they can, and they are doing so much for me. I just wish that my family could go back and earn their diplomas. The feeling of self accomplishment and personal reward are feelings that they will never have. I received my diploma to prove everyone wrong, but my new goal is to receive my degree in order to prove my self right.

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