Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Books that Helped Me Survive My Sophomore Year of High School

I have no idea how old you are, what grade you are in, or if you have already graduated high school. All I do know, is that there seems to be primarily two types of high school experiences: either you have a great one, or a lousy one. While my own high school experience has allowed me to discover many other types in between the main two types, the feelings that people carry around about high school seem to only fall in those two categories. Academically, my two years of high school could not be going any better; however, my social one could use a major improvement. 

While my lack of blog posts over the last nine months or so has been due to my crazy school schedule and summer homework, I am gad to say that I survived and am thrilled to be back doing one of my favorite things: blogging. At the beginning of the school year, I struggled to find a balance between school work and reading, so I was unable to read much. The last half of the school year, however, allowed me to start reading more and I will be publishing several reviews of books that I read from January to June over the next couple weeks. 

This school year was rather challenging to me both socially and academically, so I wanted to make a blog post focusing on the books that helped keep me on track this year. I read these books either prior to or during this school year and I would not have finished the school year the way I did without them.

The only Advanced Placement class I took last year was AP World History. I pushed off the summer homework, reading nine chapters of a textbook while talking outline notes and reading nine chapters of an independent reading book while doing a double entry journal of each chapter, because why would I want to make my life easier? 

Long story short, I ended up being really behind on my work during the first quarter, who am I even kidding, I was behind on my work every quarter except the last quarter for that class. Anyway, my one saving grace in that class was the fact that I had marked down Dallas' suggestion to Carson, in All Lined Up, about how to properly outline an essay. While I did not have to outline an essay, the basic concept of how to outline notes allowed me create some amazing notes that my teacher always gave me full credit on, no matter how late I turned them in. I would like to take a moment to thank Cora for aiding me in keeping my 100+% average in history.

My teacher still has a majority of my notes, so I cannot count exactly how many I took. But, throughout the course, I took over two hundred pages of notes on a nine hundred and something paged textbook. That does not even count how many pages of notes I had to take on the massive religion packet and all the other packets he gave us throughout the year. I would also like to take a moment to recognize the lives of all the trees I took during that class. Rest in peace.

A lot of high school problems are due to your own insecurities, a lack of communication, and your skewed perspective. When you are a teenager, you believe that you are always hearing the truth, you never question the rumors or whatever you over-hear. In Nash, the main character, Nash, and his love-interest, Saint, knew each other from high school. Saint always had a crush on Nash and one day he heard a rude comment that Nash said about some girl and assumed he was talking about her. 

Teenagers as a whole are extremely vulnerable to anything that hurts our self-esteem or body image. Throughout both years of high school, I have had problems with my so-called "friends" and my body image because I lost 60 pounds a few years ago, but I still have no idea how to properly dress my new body. I am more of a loner, like Saint was in high school and over-hearing general statements as I walk by or from my friends that could easily fit always make me wonder. 

While no book can truly stomp out my insecurities, Nash made me question if those comments are really directed towards me. More than likely, any of the hundreds of girls in my school could have thought they were directed towards them as well. No one is truly perfect, I have to accept that whether or not I want to.

The Year We Fell Down is actually one of the few books I had the opportunity to read during this school year and it is one of the most important. The Year We Fell Down follows a girl's freshman year of college after being tragically paralyzed the year before. I had never read a book where the main character was paralyzed and it left a lasting impact on me. Like any teenage girl, my appearance means something to me. While I do not wear make-up, I could easily cover up a huge zit with some foundation. You cannot cover a life-lasting disability, like being paralyzed, with some foundation though.
The Year We Fell Down made me realize that, although I had to sit next to my crush in a couple classes with large zits on my face, I did not have to sit next to him in a wheelchair. Not only am I fortunate enough to not have a disability interfering with my in my daily life, I do not have one that interferes with what I love, running. I empathized for Corey because while she meets her love-interest, Hartley, due to his temporary foot injury, even sitting in her wheelchair temporarily when others come around shames him. Life could be a million times worse than the loads of homework I have or the zits I have.

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