The Voice of Wakefield High School

Maxx Rubino when they were two years old.

There was a point to all of this?

"The little things, they always hang around. The little things, they try to break me down. The little things, they just won't go away. The little things, make me who I am today." - Good Charlotte

When people start at a new school, it’s common for them to imagine what their time at the school will be like. I’m guilty of doing the same thing. As someone who was homeschooled for most of their life, I had some unrealistic expectations of what public school would be. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time –because we all have ups– but we also all have downs, and it’s important to acknowledge those as well.

Freshman year was difficult as expected. Going from homeschool to public school is like changing dimensions. My English class was the class with the most shenanigans. We read Greek Mythology that made no sense, Romeo and Juliet which is the craziest and most unnecessary love story and my teacher sat me behind the tallest student in class, in the last seat in the row. My neck pain will forever be inspired by you, teacher who shall not be named. 

Sophomore year, I spent time at home trying to motivate myself through online lectures. This year was pivotal because it was when I developed health problems that changed the course of my high school experience. It’s tough having a condition that people don’t understand, and even tougher when they invalidate your experience because of it. Despite this, I never invalidated myself and made sure I took the time I needed to get things done and do them well. 

In my junior year, I realized I had made a mistake. Everyone around me started taking AP classes in freshman year, I didn’t even know what an AP class was. People were getting tutors for the standardized tests, and I felt that I had to do the same to stand a chance in the college game. But I didn’t have the financial means for a tutor, so I resorted to using sketchy websites online to practice for these exams. While my scores weren’t extravagant, I scored above average so I thought I did pretty good. 

My senior year was my greatest year of all, and not just because I was leaving to move on to greater things. I realized the only mistake I made in high school was trying to be like everyone else. I didn’t have to level out the playing field if I could make it work in my favor, and I did. No more AP classes, hello dual enrollment at Wake Tech Community College and automatic college credit. No more thinking my value lies in the rank of the university I attend; hello community college and no debt. No more thinking that I need to be a piece in the socio-economic puzzle, hello being the one lost or buried under the couch. 

I am grateful to the friends I made; if we talked this year, I appreciate you. I am grateful for having the ability to pursue my musical hobby and involvement as a career; hopefully I will have a fulfilling life doing something I love. The next years of my life are a mystery, but a mystery I cannot wait to unfold. 

While you’re going through it, it seems like there is no point to high school. Four years of learning about stuff that you’re never going to use again? Where’s the joy in that? The joy is the people you meet, the places you go, the things you see and you may learn one useful thing: you’ll learn about yourself, and who you’re meant to be.

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