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Drugs Changed Everything

Going Back to High School Was Hard

By Sarah D., Jacksonville, Florida

I dropped out of high school when I was 17. It was the beginning of my senior year and it was supposed to be best time of my life. Though that all changed when I left school.

I wasn't like the stereotypes of dropouts. I was somewhat popular (everyone knew who I was), I was captain of my color guard squad, and I was very active in my school programs. I was also a good student and didn't get into trouble.

The summer before senior year I got into drugs and when school came around in the fall, everyone knew what I was doing. Rumors spread all over school and everything changed. The girl who was always trusted and was considered responsible now couldn't be trusted. I lost my friends, my reputation, and everything I had worked hard for.

I felt alone, so when I did go to school I skipped classes and sat in the auditorium or outside. I still had my summertime boyfriend who was out of school and I thought being with him would be better than school. I only needed a few credits to graduate so I figured I was done and it wouldn't matter.

For a year my life changed and I didn't even know who I was. I hurt my friends and my family. I got into serious trouble and soon probably wouldn't have any way out. My dad had a wanted me to graduate from high school before he died. That never happened. Every day after he died I felt like a loser, that everyone (including me) would be disappointed.

So after about a year I started to change and in a good way. I was gaining trust again and was doing okay. I learned you didn't need to graduate high school to go to community college but I wanted to graduate from high school. I didn't want my GED, I wanted my diploma.

It took a long time to get my life back on track. It was hard and when I look back, I'm disappointed at myself. It took two years, but I graduated high school and got my diploma from the high school I used to attend. I also got to go to college and get credit hours while I worked on graduating high school. I wanted to graduate before I turned 20 and I did -- about a month before my birthday.

Going back to high school was a hard thing to do and took a lot of work. I wish I had stayed in school and had the senior year I dreamed of.... I don't want anyone to experience what I did and go down that same road. I want students to know real stories and hear real life experiences. I think they should be able to talk to people about anything. I honestly believe that a message comes across better when someone really knows what they are talking about because it's what they experienced.