It was my last day as a middle school student at Horace Mann and I was sitting in my school office after school was out. I was sitting with my science teacher, Mr. Jones, and my principal, Ms. Gale. I have been trying to find information on this school called USC Hybrid High School for a couple of days now. I was starting to get frustrated because I could not find what I was looking for. Minutes went by, and I finally found what I was looking for: the address, number, and everything else.
I remember Ms. Gale asking me, “How did you hear about this school?”
“Hey Rae’Nisha, what high school are you going to?” My friend Evelyn asked.
“Honestly Evelyn, I have no idea. Maybe Washington. Why where are you going?” I said. “I am going to try to get into this new school called USC Hybrid High.”
“USC has a high school? Since when?” Evelyn asked.
“I don’t know about all of that. All I know is that it is better than Washington. You should try and get into it too. I mean what do you have to lose right?” I said.
“Okay Evelyn. I guess I can look into it. I am sure my mom would love it if I get into a school like this,” Evelyn said.
As I recapped this conversation, it was like I was having it all over again. Who knew that she liked USC?
“I did not know that Evelyn liked USC. I thought she was a UCLA girl,” Ms. Gale exclaimed.
“Me either Ms.Gale. I mean it does seem like a really good school though. Thank you guys for your help and I will see you guys tomorrow” I said.
“Okay, remember it is the last day of you being a middle school student,” Mr. Jones said as I walked to the door.
“Okay Mr. Jones,” I said.
When I got home, I gave my mom the information and went downstairs to watch television because I knew she was about to call the school. I was really nervous and for the life of me I could not remember the last time I was nervous. When she came downstairs, I was well into this episode of “SpongeBob” and I could see in her eyes that I did not get in. I asked her what was wrong (even though I could already guess what it was) and she told me that she just got off the phone with the school and that I had been put on the waiting list. I had been hoping to get into the school with no problem, but there I was with no idea where I would be going to school. I went to sleep that night with that question on my mind. When I woke up the next morning, my mom and I were about to walk out the house to go to Nix, it was around 8:30 maybe 9 my mom gets a phone call. I am downstairs putting on my shoes when she comes running down the stairs calling my name.
“You got in, They just called me and told me that you got accepted into Hybrid High.”
“Oh I need to call your Nana, yeah baby.”
We walked out the door and all I could think of was the fact that I got into this school. A couple of hours ago I did not know where I was going to go, and now I was so happy that I did not know what to do with myself. I do not think I truly believed it until we were on our way to orientation. When we arrived at the building, I saw a long line of kids and at the front of the line was my friend Evelyn-she was leaving the school and it was not until later that I found out that she was not accepted into the school- me and my mom waved and we got in line. I remember walking into the testing room and finding my name at the desk and thinking “Man I hope I pass this test.” The person administering the test in my room was Mr. Phillips and Mr. Sicat (the CEO of Ednovate) was walking around checking how things were going.
Once the test was over we were taken upstairs into the room that is now known as the Learning Commons and we watched a presentation led by Mr. Sicat. Afterwards, we were dismissed, and my mom and I went home. It was because of this that I started to see just how much people drink “haterade.” Once people who I thought were my friends found out about the school I was going to, they all told me that I could not do it.
“You won’t last a week before they kick you out”
“You might as well go to Washington because you are not what they are looking for.”
“Now you must be joking right, do you think YOU can make it there or in college, please.”
I know now that they were jealous and wanted to bring me down. However, back then, it really hurt my feelings and made me feel like I should just give up on my dream of going there. I told my mom about it and she told me “You know what RaeRae, people will always try to bring you down and try to make you not do the things that will better your life. But you can’t listen to them. You are going to do things that most will not even get to do in their life. I am proud of you and you should be proud of yourself. I mean how many people can say that they go to USC Hybrid High School? Not many. I know that it hurts but it just goes to show you that they were never you friends, they were your associates. Just be you and don’t worry about them.”
I knew that she was right and from that day on, I never spoke to those kids again because I knew I was going to do great things in life. I focused on getting ready for my first day of school which would be the start of an amazing journey.
Fast forward three years, my junior year, and I still remember those words that my mom told me that day. I carried them with me these past three years. My 9th and 10th grades were full of new friendships, hard work, and new opportunities. This year, I am currently looking at colleges and I have already started getting in contact with a few of them. Just the other day I got an email from USC’s law school. It just shows you that no matter the background or upbringing, you can do any and everything. I have loved my high school experience and even though it is almost over, sadly, I know that the relationships I have made and the people I have met will always be there. Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy, I mean when has it ever been easy in high school, but I guess it is just how you go about handling it.