The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/12/2016 | Alma Mater
“You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.”
“Hello, young humans. This school looks so different than the last time I was here. My name is Jan, although I used to go by Janise when I went to school here. I made a conscious decision to change my name, thanks to twelve years of mispronunciations, and it made my life so much better. So, if I don’t mention it later, my first bit of advice to you is that if people are mispronouncing your name, and it is driving you nuts, go by something else. Anyway, I’m here today to talk to you all about the path of life, though I’m not sure why I was asked to fly 1,200 miles to come back here and speak, when my path of life hasn’t exactly been successful.
I was an above average student most of the time, but I was easily distracted by things that had nothing to do with school. Boys, family drama, having fun with friends, etc., and that was a huge mistake. If I could change one thing about my high school career, I would go back and try harder, and focus more. I got lazy during my senior year, and my grades reflect that. I was smart enough to start applying to colleges early, which is super important, but I played it safe, because I was afraid of rejection. Some of my top choice schools never even got my application, because I just didn’t want to hear a “no”.
I got accepted into every school that I applied to, but sacrificed my education, as well as my friends and family, for a boy, and ended up leaving the country to attend school with him. Big mistake. We didn’t last, and I am still in debt to that school, over seven years later. I had to drop out, and bounce around from crappy job to crappy job, just trying to stay above water, and pay my bills. I would do anything to be able to go back to school, and finish my degree, so that I can have a good career that supports my family.
If you take anything away from my speech today, anything at all, please, focus on school. Boys will come and go, and drama will pass. High school doesn’t last forever, and things will get better. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, and you’re afraid of those rejection letters, apply to schools that you feel might be out of your comfort zone, or even out of your financial reach. There are scholarships and grants out there to help you, and I wish that I had done more research on the matter before I graduated. Who knows, I might have actually graduated.
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. Stay in school, kids!”
Thank you for reading, friends.