Ever since Mia was a kindergartener, her teachers and parents have noticed something different in her learning. She could not process words easily and had frequent difficulties in writing and reading. So as soon as Mia entered first grade, her parents arranged a tutor for her to support her learning so that Mia would not fall behind. So, she met Ms. Jessie, a tutor who specialized in helping students with learning difficulties. 

October 31, 2010

Even though she has learning difficulties, it doesn’t stop her from being a normal child. Right now, Mia and her 2 best friends, Ava and Sara, are having playdates at a playground near Ava’s house. 

“The last one to slide is it” Mia shouts.

All of the 3 girls giggle loudly as they quickly run to the slides. Sara pouts as soon as she reaches the slides as she is the last one. Sara quickly chases both Mia and Ava while shouting, “I’m gonna get you!” Ava’s mom watches them with a smile as giggles are erupting around the whole playground 

August 10, 2018

Today is my first day of freshman year with Ava and Sara. I am so nervous that I can’t take a bite of my breakfast and am currently staring out at the drizzle.

“Mia? Mia? MIA!” my mom shouts. 

I quickly refocus on her and question, “What?” 

“Eat your breakfast. You don’t want to be late for your first day of school!!” She says while getting ready for work.

So I hurriedly eat my breakfast and run to the bus. Luckily, I easily spot Ava and Sara as they are waving at me. So I sit next to them and we all chat throughout the bus ride. Somehow, it goes by so quickly and I feel unable to start my freshman year even though I got my 2 best friends with me. 

Ava sees me transfixed and carefully places her hand at my shoulder, “Are you ok?”

In a fearful tone, I say, “no”

Sara hears our conversation and quickly comes back to our seat, and replies: “Don’t worry, we’ll guide each other in these 4 years, and we’ll assist you if you need help in your classes.”

Smiling nervously, I answer “Thanks, guys!”

So we enter the school building with a gut-wrenching feeling. Luckily there’s still 10 minutes before class starts and the 3 of us are in the same homeroom. So we are able to walk to the homeroom calmly while still chatting. But I can’t bring myself to make a conversation with them as I am still feeling too scared to start high school. There’s going to be a lot of school work, homework, and most importantly, ASSESSMENTS!! Even though I have support from my friends, teachers, Ms. Jessie, and my parents, I am still nervous about what high school has in store for me. 

*Ring Ring Ring* (the bell rings)

By the time the bell rings, we are already in our homeroom and have taken our seats. Homeroom isn’t so bad; we talk about what high school is like, the requirements. Suddenly, the bell rings. Next block I have history while Ava and Sara have math together, and so we make our own way to the next class. When history class begins, I can’t bring myself to focus on what the teacher is talking about, as history is one of my most troublesome subjects. The language is extremely hard for me to understand. The teacher is telling us to write a list of the differences and similarities between World War 1 and World War 2 on a piece of paper. I look over other’s papers and nervously see that they have written a large list, but I don’t know a lot of things about both events. So, I raise my hand to ask the teacher for help and she sees me and walks up to me and she is very kind and willing to guide me. 

Time flies fast as I am kinda enjoying this class and suddenly the bell rings! It scares me so bad that I jump out of my seat, embarrassing myself. Next, I have biology with Ava and Sara and I am glad that I have a few classes with them, such as PE, music, English and a free block, and of course biology. I enter the class pretty early and am surprised to see Ava and Sara already in the class. They see and wave at me then give me a seat in between them. 

‘I have such great friends’ I say to myself

So they ask me, “How’s history?”

With a smile, I reply, “Not bad, the teacher is very nice.”

Ava says, “That’s good!”

The teacher, Mr. Karl, talks about the units and requirements for the class, and I am so excited about the lab experiment because those activities are always the best. We have our first worksheet which is a post-biology “test” to let the teacher know about our knowledge in this class. In truth, I don’t understand most of the questions. Both Ava and Sara are almost done with the worksheets, while I am sitting in between them and still struggling to understand one of the questions. 

“Time’s UP!” Mr. Karl shouted.

So I hand him the worksheet and he looks at me with disbelief as I only do 2 out of the 20 questions. Mr.Karl asks me why I can’t do the questions and I tell him that I don’t understand it at all. He then tells me to stay after school to get a head start on this class. 

(time jump to 3 pm)

I have to beg Ava and Sara to go home without me as I have to stay after school to meet Mr. Karl. Walking to Mr. Karl’s room, I am sweating profusely. As soon as I enter his room, he has already prepared for me and has a big pile of paper, full of syllabus and worksheets for the rest of the year. He tells me that this class doesn’t need a lot of studying unless I pay attention to the class. Easy.. not for me! He then gives me the syllabus and tells me what to be careful of and the funs on each unit. 

Time flies slowly and 4:30 happens. I am feeling very tired with this session but I feel motivated to do well in my high school years as the teachers are super helpful and understanding. I say many thank yous to him, feeling very happy to have this session early in the year. 

Then I went home with a smile on my face and when I entered my house, my mom sees me and asks, “How’s the first day of school?”

“It’s fine! But my teacher, Mr. Karl, asked me to stay after school to know about me and gave me a head start in the class! So, that’s the reason I came home late.” I cheerfully answer.

“Oh!! That’s great!” My mom reply.

After that, I go to my room and take a quick nap before quickly texting in the group chat, which consists of Ava, Sara, and I, stating that I have reach home safely and gave short information of the 1-on-1 session. 15 minutes later, my alarm rings. I wake up and start to do homework and do some reading. I am just finishing my social studies WW1 and WW2 comparison worksheet and start doing science. Both take longer than I expected but I finish it until 10 pm, with dinner in the middle of the time. After that, I go to the bathroom to take a shower and do my night routine then hit the bed. 

June 1, 2022

Today is the day! I am going to graduate from high school. I feel so relieved and excited to end my journey and can’t wait to move on. Right now, I just finished taking a shower and am preparing for the ceremony. As I am opening my closet, I look into the mirror and I see the difference with senior year me and freshman year me. I was scared and not smart at all during my freshman year, but coming into senior year, I have become more confident and become a better student. I have worked hard during these 4 years and can’t wait to move forward in my next 4 years in college. 

~ Looking back at my freshman year, I recall that I struggled in most subjects. As time went on, I kept studying during all of my school breaks, though I still went out and hung around with my friends. I decided to join a basketball team outside of school to feel energized. Furthermore, I chose to join a faith group to be closer to God and to de-stressed.

By sophomore year, I struggled less with math and more with the other classes. However, I knew that I should keep going. I relied a lot on my friends, my basketball team, and my faith to keep me motivated. At the end of the year,  my grades improved slightly compared to my freshman year.

By my junior year, the hardest year of high school, I had many sessions with my college counselor to guide me to make sure I stayed on top of the class selection, getting letters of recommendation from teachers. On top of that, we listed down colleges that seemed to be interested in my grades and extracurricular. With that, I had to focus heavily on my classes because junior year is the most important as colleges will look at this grade the most. So, throughout the summer and the year, I relied quite heavily on Ms. Jessie as I had to prepare for SAT as well as my classes because they were getting harder. 

Even though the journey to becoming who I am today wasn’t easy at all, in the end, I was able to achieve it with much support from others and through my own will to excel.

I pick out my favourite white dress and black dress shoes to wear for the ceremony and decide to facetime my friends to chat for a while before going to the graduation. 

“Hey! What’s up?!” Ava cheerfully asking while applying her make-up.

“Nothing much! Just excited to graduate and move on from high school!!” I say with a big smile. 



PS: This story is based on a true story… Mia is ME! I have had learning difficulties ever since first grade and I have a tutor who guides me through. (but I’m a rising junior!! Not yet a senior, so yea!) Thank you for reading! Hope this story brings some inspiration that you can reach for your goals if you have the motivation to do it!