When discussing my personal life, specifically, the problems I have faced, I usually tend to be reserved, and don’t like to indulge on my past with others. In this certain instance in my life, that was unavoidable. During my Junior year, attending Punahou High School, immediately after the first semester, I was expelled with my return pending on how I preformed at the ensuing High School. Over the years, my focus had drastically changed from making sure I was passing in school, to a place where all I wanted to improve or enhance was my social life and experiences. School was secondary, sports and social life were prioritized first. I wanted to only associate myself with my football teammates, exclusively spending time with them, which in turn impacted my grades. I, of course, was convinced that I would be fine, which led to a focus on social aspects of my life. The sense of entitlement kicked in, making me feel invincible. Why was this such an important moment for me? I had two possible options at this time, grow up and learn from my mistakes at a rapid pace, or continue following my own agenda that I justified to be the right one.
All of my thoughts were negative and I concluded that I had no chance at being readmitted for my senior year at Punahou. The day I got home from my semester expulsion, I remember laying on the Kitchen floor, astonished, lacking hope. My mom came up to me, and said “We support you through anything, and we know if you work hard you will get through this.” and that single line meant more to me than almost anything to this day.
To be completely honest, if my parents did not support me through that trying moment of my life, I think I could have easily spiraled out of control and given up on myself. I lacked confidence more than anything after this huge ordeal, which was something that was uncommon for me until all of this happened. I relied on being confident in myself and not shying away from people or a challenge. After my academic escapade, I lost that confidence, and gaining it back began solely with my parents support. My senior year, I ended up getting back into Punahou, having a great football season and received my diploma. My recovery process academically was a slow one, although my grades were better, it was only slightly. It took a lot of time and discipline from my parents to get through my senior year, which only added to my respect and appreciation for them. The journey was a long one, one that affected me much beyond high school. I wasn’t able to attend any college of my choice, and had to work extremely hard over the next two years to correct my habits formed in High school.
During this experience, I learned so much about myself, that it could be deemed as priceless. Before I was expelled, all I cared about was me. I had no regard for my family, my main focus was having fun with my peers, and being a sociable, enjoyable person to be around. Like I mentioned earlier, I had my priorities, and unless something happened, they weren’t going to change. Luckily, all of this happened, and I learned that my actions don’t just effect me, they effect all the people close to me, and have an impact on their lives just as much as mine. Realizing you can’t do everything is a key step in setting priorities in your life, and that was something that I personally did end up understanding. I straightened out my priorities and realized how irrational my behavior and thinking was, and mainly, realized that no matter what, my family will always be there for me, and that was something I gained that I didn’t think about before and didn’t value. I learned to seek for help when I need it and to not struggle through things when I have the resources to help me succeed. Now I think about my family every day, and how I can repay them for not giving up on me. I gained values that I didn’t appreciate before and I am grateful for the what that moment taught me.