Not Another Statistic

kerren - portland, Oregon
Entered on October 1, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

At the end of my junior year, my high school principal sat me down, and told me I would not graduate on time. I wasn’t surprised, or even upset. I expected myself to fail, and that is exactly what happened. I’m 17, a senior, and my graduating class is 2009. On my transcript I have 15 F’s, 11 D’s 5 C’s. 6 B’s and 2 A’s. I have never made over a 1.8 GPA, and my cumulative gpa is 1.133. If you take a look at all of that I would look like a failure, good for nothing, and another statistic. But despite all of the negative, I managed to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and start all over. The only thing I needed to change was the way I perceived myself to be-my self esteem. I believe that no matter your circumstances or your past, you can start a new beginning, as long as you believe in yourself.

Freshman year I skipped at least three classes a week. I got suspended from cheer for drinking. I didn’t cheer in a single basketball game and was soon kicked off the team for my grades. I crashed my dad’s car into his house and had to work the following summer to pay it off. Great way to start off high school. Sophomore year, I was drunk almost every weekend for the first few months of school, I was on cheer again, and got kicked off again for my grades. This was becoming my future. Yet I still laughed everything off, as if I wasn’t ruining my future. I got diagnosed with ADHD which I denied until my senior year. I didn’t want anything to be wrong with me. I felt like a loser. I had no confidence in my self. I lost all hope. I wouldn’t take my adderrall; I even sold it a few times. I was headed down a very dangerous path. I let myself spiral out of control, and I didn’t want anyone to help me. I thought I was just fine. I hated high school more than anything. I couldn’t wait to get out, but at the looks of it, it seemed I would be here longer then I had expected.

Junior year. The hardest year for me I decided to do dance team this year instead. I thought that maybe I could change. “I would try harder to go to school, make good grades.” That didn’t happen. I failed 7 of my classes and got d’s in the rest. In June of that year, I got caught for having weed at school. I thought my life was over; I was getting kicked off dance, and expelled from school. MY life was no longer mine. I had lost control. I lost all my self respect. I believed I was a failure. I believed I was just another statistic; I became everything I said I would not be. I didn’t even know who I was, what I believed in, or what I wanted out of my life.

I had to have a meeting with my mom, case manager, and principal to discuss my punishment for getting caught with weed. The meeting was 2 hours long. That meeting changed my life. My principle told me I was a leader in my school, that when I do drugs, or make bad grades, other students see it as being okay. That I was meant to do something great in life, that drugs will hold me back from that. He talked to me as a young adult struggling just like everyone else, he didn’t treat me as if I was a horrible person. He taught me that I could change if I really wanted to, but that “I wouldn’t be able to graduate on time”. Hearing those words made it seem more real then ever. I Kerren Arns, would not graduate on time. Wow. He told me that he would not expel me, but that he wanted me to take this summer and really think about myself. That I need to believe in myself. I can make anything possible if I try.

So I that summer I did everything he told me too. Once I learned to believe in myself, everything fell into place. I excelled in dance, I took an online class and got an A in it. I figured out how I could graduate on time with MY class of 2009, and this spring I will graduate. Something that was impossible and completely out of reach was now in my grasp, just touching my finger tips, but possible if I believe I can. I’m not another statistic, I beat all the odds against me, and my life has just begun. Never again will I tell myself I can’t.