Growing up, there have been many times when I would see the gulf between me and my classmates ahead of me with their education. I was taught the same curriculum but had to have different accommodations in order for me to catch up to them. At times, I felt like I was chasing a clock since I badly wanted to prove I’m smart to not just my classmates but to the teachers.
Sometimes, when a school system puts a label on me with having a learning disability, it felt like I was a rotten egg, and I wasn’t immune to how people stuck up their noses at me.
If something or someone already makes you feel rotten, the smell is contagious to the rotten eggs that they put you in with. I had friends who the school labeled as someone with learning disabilities. We were all rotten eggs, our own rotten shells made me and others insecure, so it was a little harder to see the golden eggs of our own intelligence.
I was denied many things for having this label put on me, but I tried everything to make it work. I studied as harder, learned new ways to attain information, and did everything I could to learn despite how my learning environment wasn’t the greatest. At times, I would be put into smaller classrooms, but most of the time some of the other students didn’t want to learn and they made it difficult for me. However, I learned to adapt, and learned at a young age you need to look out for yourself.
I never thought and dreamed I was smart enough for college. There was always this doubt of mine that I was too dumb. I started off in community college, you didn’t know the pure joy I felt when I was allowed to have a 4.0 gpa and be allowed in honor societies. In Secondary school, I was denied those rights, and it still brings a trace of bitterness to my mouth to this day.
As I’m now transferring to a university in the fall semester, with a still good-standing GPA, it still baffles me that I got to try to apply to ivy league colleges. However, I decided to just go with a public university, since it works for me. In my senior year, I couldn’t back then because I wouldn’t have been allowed those opportunities.
Keep chasing your dreams for an education. I had struggles with my education. All because I had learning disabilities, and being a woman I hate to say gave me trouble as well. No matter what, the only one who’s truly stopping your dreams is yourself.
OMG @dannicatwhiskers This is beautiful. I was never diagnosed with a learning disability, but the truth is never thought I was smart enough. I was bubbly, outgoing and sometimes silly. Plus, I loved wearing dresses. People often assumed I wasn’t smart. I always felt like I had something to prove. While I did well in school, I never felt like it was enough. I remember I figured out a math problem once and my teacher said in front of the entire class, “Wow! You are much smarter than you look.” My insecurities led me to work hard and have this relentless determination. As a result, I have done things that I never thought would be possible. Now, I still work hard but I no longer care what anyone thinks. The only person I strive to impress is myself.
Everyone learn a little differently. They may have labeled you with a disability but really you just learned differently than they did, because clearly you are very smart.
You’re story is inspiring and you should so proud of yourself for not letting other People’s perception or labels get in the way of your success. You are amazing and I can’t wait to see and hear about what you do next.
You are star. So keep shining bright.
With lots of love,
I want to say thank you so much! Your words were so kind, also you can relate to this, and I feel like we have our own battles when people doubt us. Wow, your teacher said you’re smarter than you look That’s truly degrading, also sometimes we have this pressure to change the way we look, just so people can take us seriously can be truly annoying at times. I’m glad you turned those negative words into positive actions. And look how much you’ve accomplished!
I really like how said you don’t think what people think. I’ve gotten better with that as well. Truly doing that, has made me succeed despite what other people have told me. Their words weren’t always as kind, I sometimes got embarrassed when I mentioned my learning disabilities because I got made fun of and harassed. Then, when I tried to work harder, some of the ones who have learning disabilities like me. Some made it more difficult for me, I got teased at times, and I sometimes would hear them saying I need to learn my place. It can be a vicious cycle when so many doubts are already being placed on young minds.
Yes, I wanted people to know who ever felt like this to know they’re not alone. I’ve had obstacles in my education, but I made it worth my wild to keep on trying. But truly, really thank you for your words, it really means a lot to me!
From one star to another,
Aww Danni, anyone who is mean and makes fun of someone else is someone who truly isn’t comfortable or secure with themselves. Happy people don’t hurt people. Hurt people hurt people. Whatever someone says about you (or anyone else for that matter) is a reflection of them, not you.
Keep being amazing!
Reading your letter here made me think of one of my favorite quotes. Henry David Thoreau was quoted saying
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
I read this and thought how perfectly it fits your letter. You have learned at the pace you heard. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t like anyone else, it matters only because you did it. I know many people who’ve been given the same label as you were and I’ve seen the same from them that you’ve written about here. You are so much more than a word that someone used to describe a difference you may have. I have one of those disabilities they levied on you. I show all the symptoms of ADHD, but when I was a young man in school it wasn’t something understood as it was today. It was hard for me to focus and I got either bored or uninterested very quickly. I was smart but I couldn’t concentrate. I still struggle with it now and I’m almost 40.
I read your story here and it inspires me, because you haven’t given up on yourself no matter what someone said about you. Someone else will read this letter and be inspired to achieve all that they dare to dream about and someday they will acknowledge this letter as to why they didn’t give up. That’s the power you have displayed here writing this. Your success in spite of what someone said about you is something you should be pretty damn proud of. I know I’m proud of you and I’m sure many others are too. Keep being who you are and chase down every last one of the dreams you have! I’ll be cheering you on all the way!
Really, really, thank you for your kind words. This subject is very sensitive to me, so it really makes me smile and it’s a good thing to see so much positivity.
I like the quote, I could relate so much, and I was nodding. I was never the one who liked following a crowd, I loved doing my own thing, and going by my pace has truly helped. I don’t know why there’s pressure to do things a certain way. Four years in college, I’m like, there are so many variables that can happen before you can even reach four years.
I am sorry you had to go through that, yeah, back in the 90s and early 200s. Mental health and education weren’t quite big with awareness yet. It must have been frustrating for you, I can only imagine, and people that I love and care about have ADHD. And I see how bloody bright they are, but I understood exactly what you mean with the concentration, sometimes I would have to remind them and try to find ways to help them concentrate better. I have GAD, Generalized anxiety, so I get that with losing focus. I would get so anxious, I sometimes would fiddle with something, like a stress ball or I sometimes would try to calm my anxiety by humming. Maybe those would help you as well, I understand how frustrating it can, but like you told me, you kept at it.
I am glad my letter inspire you, also you could relate to it, honestly, that’s what I truly wanted to accomplish. Yes, I’m still not giving up, even though my GAD and my learning disabilities make it harder, but I always have ways to keep on going. It is still hard, but your words really mean a lot, and it’s truly nice to hear.
Keep doing what you doing, you have your own cheerleader here too!
The personal cheerleader Danni
It is so impressive that you have reached your educational goals. Even though you faced obstacles growing up you worked hard and made sure you did well so you could further your education. Keep up your good grades , stay focused and I know you will go far. I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors.
Truly thank you for your kind words, it really means a lot to me. Yes, keeping focus and my ambition have helped me a lot to get through these obstacles. It’s always nice to hear someone has faith in me.