Self

Why Sometimes All It Takes Is One Great Teacher To Change Your Life

Photo: Jacob Lund / shutterstock
teacher helping student

By Ashlyn Thomson

High school can be explained by a few different emotions, and depending on what your interests are, those emotions can vary throughout the years. For me, I loved high school — for the first three years at least; my last year, not so much.

You see people mature at different stages of life and with maturity comes different interests. I used to be a partier because it was what everyone did, and I thought it was fun.

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I used to drink two or three days in a week. I used to go to class but not try very hard. I was only there because I needed to be. And I thought that was okay to do for the first three years, up until my last year of high school when I began to change.

I realized life can be fun without alcohol. I realized my marks predicted my future and that boys were just a waste of my time. At this stage in my life, I realized I had more important things to focus on. And that is just what I did.

I started trying more in school, I quit my job and made school my main focus. I went out drinking once a month, if that, and I felt so much better. I grew past the stage of high school; while I was still enrolled, I grew up way too fast for where I was.

Once I started to change my attitudes and interests, it meant a change in so much more.

My future was finally planned out, my friend group changed, and I was able to spend more time with my family. Although this sounds somewhat nice, I have to admit it was the hardest thing I did. I know I kept a smile on my face and my head held high, but it was very hard.

I grew up too fast for what high school was, and that had a positive and a negative outcome. I did have a lot of support, though. My family and friends were very supportive and I was able to see the truth behind the people who I thought were close to me.

There’s one person who I owe so much credit to. Without this woman, I would not be in this place right now, writing about this.

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Without her help and support, I would still be in high school trying to escape. Because of her, I am sitting in my hotel room in Vancouver looking out at the night sky and appreciating what my life is like now.

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She is a teacher, an English teacher at that, one of the hardest markers I know, and if I’m being honest, I know she didn’t like me too much before this year. Although, after we connected over the novel "Room" by Emma Donoghue, I knew that next year would be so much better... and it was.

I went through a lot of life changes within the past year and it seemed that you were one of the people who were always there to help.

When I decided that I wanted to write, you connected me to a past student of yours and set me along the right path, the path to success. When I was having trouble deciding what my future was going to look like, you helped me with that push.

When I was having trouble with being abnormal in today’s society, you were there to show me that what I believed and liked doing was totally okay. I am a nerd and you have guided me to once and for all believe that is just fine.

Now, it is nothing but positivity when we reconnect; you are still there to help me pursue those dreams. You are the support I need to follow my heart.

You remind me how hard I have worked to get to where I am today and to keep working hard for the future. You have made such a difference in my life and I just wanted to say thank you.

You have made me learn how to see the truth behind who I am. How to survive those terrible high school moments, how to find my passions and, in all honesty, how to write.

Today, I am a part of a book club, I am an author, I am traveling the world how I wanted to, and I am living my life to the fullest extent I want to be. So thank you.

Thank you for being the best teacher I’ve ever had. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for pushing me to live my life the way I want.

Thank you and merci.

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Ashlyn Thomson is a writer and musician who writes primarily about relationships, money, and self-improvement topics. Visit her author profile for more.

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.