Chapter 3: Finding a Purpose
Things became quite boring after determining that it was no longer a good idea to try and make friends. Staying in my room and watching tv was nice, but I was missing substance in my life. I wanted to feel important… special, like I had a reason to be here, and then after watching a Disney movie called Ice Princess I became obsessed with one thing, intelligence. Being smart meant that I mattered. After all, smart people made all the money and got all the respect in society. I wanted to wow people, to be so smart and clever that I would go down in history as someone who created something significant. I remember my mother having a conversation with me about a program in our area known as the International Baccalaureate Program. The courses in this program were the hardest and most rigorous in the district, and only a handful of students were given acceptance into the program each year. I remember thinking, “A program for smart kids? Sounds perfect!” And I then determined to work my ass off in order to get in. It was decided that the best chance I had at making it into the program was to actually attend some sort of real school, where I would have other people teaching and assessing me besides just my mom, so she found a marine science magnet middle school called Booker T. Washington that specializes in preparing children for I.B. classes. We went and had a meeting with the principle, and about a week later I was officially enrolled into the school system.
My first day of school was a crazy one. I remember feeling completely lost the entire day as I tried to figure out how this whole school thing worked. I reminded myself not to care too much about what other people thought or said about me, because I was there to study academics not to make friends. I applied myself fully to all my classes and made friends with all of my teachers. I soon became one of the most popular kids in the school. Well, popular with the faculty at least. I had some friends who were students but not many, which was completely fine with me. I tried to stick with kids who I had things in common with, so I spent the majority of my time with other people I knew were trying to get into the same program I was. We formed our own little nerdy clique and helped each other with homework assignments and partnered up for group projects.
Because of how busy I was, my 8th grade year flew by. I ended the year having been a part of the Student Advisory Group on Education for my district and having received the Principal’s Award in addition to getting a perfect score on my English SOL. I felt rather accomplished, but nothing compared to the joy I received when I got my acceptance letter from the IB Program. All of my hard work had paid off. I had officially made it into the most academically challenging program in the area. Now all I had to do was complete high school and get into a prestigious university.