Wednesday, July 25, 2012
How to Get Back to School
This has been a question I've asked myself for so long, the infamous school challenge. For teenagers with chronic illnesses, school is a daunting chore we must all face at some point. However, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It has taken me a long time to come to grips with this. My entire childhood encompassed the school career. I struggled to receive straight A's, be number one, form lasting bonds with teachers and student aids, keep involved in sports and after school activities like student council, still find time to read and have friendships, and so much more. The ideal picture was the possibility of graduating early, or with more than enough credits, and progressing to a large career field where I could be top of my class and shine like the star I am down inside. When I got sick in seventh grade it killed me to miss school, to miss my first year being secretary of Student Council, miss the application process of National Junior Honor Society, miss the soccer games, and band practices, and lose so many 'friendships'. My heart broke everyday, and it still breaks as I face the challenge of jumping back into school. I have been unable to process, react, concentrate, and remember like the student I once was for an entire 15 months. My brain just doesn't cooperate with me anymore, however I have to keep one foot in the door and attempt my dream to a high school diploma. I never expected that one day my biggest dreams of 8 years of college would be obliterated and all I would pray for was to graduate. Just to make it through. Call me preppy, but taking an extra year to finish school, being left behind by the class I have grown with since kindergarten, and struggling to just keep a B is very painful. There are options out there however. I am receiving help from Partners in Health to refine a legal 504 encompassing my entire health condition, request IEP special education testing, meet with the school and demand a tutor to help me review and finish one class at a time, and re enlisting to my classes through an online charter school called Virtual Learning Academy (VLACS). If I don't have to be in those halls, judged by those teenagers and confused teachers, than I would prefer not to be. I have done well with a few VLACS courses in the past, and I am pushing to receive a tutor and get through my junior year. There is also the option of completing credits at a local high school that offers a night school program and runs it very much like a college class for adults pursuing high school diplomas or students wishing to graduate early. This is an option, but not a great one as they will not accommodate my medical needs fully. At this point I am thinking I need to finish my biology from Sophomore year by this fall, with a tutor's help. Then I will proceed with receiving help to pick up another 2 or 3 classes online, working out of the house still and trying my best to complete them thoroughly and quickly. If I can manage this, holding myself to a daily schedule, then I will consider either returning to school in the spring part time or picking up a few of those night classes along with the VLACS. Its a step by step process to feel out my success in the near future with this new neurological setback from the combined Chronic Lyme, and post concussion symptoms.