- Overall this year I am also more invested in the material resulting in better grades. Last year I had all C’s with one B, and I know that doesn’t say the whole story but it is a simple way to show the difference in my connection to my learning. This year I have all A’s and one B. But the reason I wanted to mention this is more important than the grades themselves. Grades don’t say much do they? I have started to realise that my place in this world is an artist. I would like to interpret my experiences and make art, and music, that communicates my emotions and moments of importance to others. I believe that understanding is the most important part of this life. Art is the only universal language. But the way that relates to school subjects, math and science especially never made sense in my mind. I now realise that to be able to do these things, I need to understand that they are not separate from my learning. The reason I am getting better grades is because I am finding meaning in what I am learning. It’s hard to pay attention and be present when you are convinced what you are doing doesn’t matter. One class that really evolved for me this year is biology. I didn’t connect deeply with the first project because I didn’t see the point in learning what we were. This was on me though, and as soon as I felt connected to the mini project we are working on now. We are learning about color, I know sounds fitting to me right? But because of this project that I finally connected to in science, I feel as though I might have really pushed through a boundary I didn’t even realise I had in place. This is the project my friends and I ultimately produced. I was really into this mini project and I think that I could be this way for projects that seem unconnected to art. I realise that everything is connected, especially art and science, and music and math.
- Another thing to celebrate is that I have found a much healthier friend group. Last year, and the beginning of this year, I felt suffocated in unwanted drama. I went into this year with the thinking that I might even switch to dhs to get away from the constant triggering suicide threats. I wanted to be there for the people I loved so much, that I forgot to care about myself. I saw my self worth disappearing, and my concept of a healthy relationship did too. My friend group has evolved so much, new people have come into my life in an almost too perfect time. We have this club now, it’s called art club, and we all just bring eachother up positively. There's this new light feeling in my friends where drama isn’t involved. I’ve started to confront what’s upsetting me, and making things better. This is really good for me because when things are going badly in my out of school life, it really affects how much I care about my work. I feel invigorated and excited to go to school. And I think this place has something to do with how many beautiful people are in my life. This school is like no other, cliques are almost irrelevant, and there is no such thing as popular. I feel I am able to be myself and find people who want to be friends with that person.
- Something i’m excited about is that i’m understanding math better. In the beginning of this year I came into math with the same mindset I have had for a long time. For as long as I can remember, I have been so frustrated with math. Try stepping into my shoes. You try as hard as you can, but the numbers and symbols look like alien writing, and once you understand something kind of, the class moves on, and your left just as confused as before. My mind understands emotions, and writing, and history, and colors, and ideas. Math has always seemed unattainable. Until suddenly recently, I have been understanding math! I have been on top of things, and for the first time since I can remember, I have an A in math! I would like to show you my Problem of the Week, because i’m very proud that for the first time I was helping my peers, instead of needing help. I took this quiz last week, and I might sound like a broken record, but this made me so extremely happy, I understood the content. I was so excited about this that I ran to my advisors classroom and told her just how happy I was to get something in math for once.
- Something I really need to work on is paying more attention/ less talking to friends. This has always been a real struggle for me, because I’m a very social person and human connection is extremely important to my happiness. In seventh grade, my best friend and I were separated and put into different classes, and I realised how much it affected me. I felt like I was alone, and I was extremely upset and unengaged for the rest of the year. I didn’t see where they were coming from, I didn’t realise that because we were always having these conversations instead of doing work, we were being disrespectful. I have definitely gotten better since then, but it’s still hard for me to separate friend time and school time. It’s hard to pay attention when so many other things are on my mind. I feel like as a teenager I have found a family that has chosen me, and I need to understand internally that even though they are important it’s equally important to balance my education with my outside life. Something that really stuck with me was when my mom said, “Jade, this is your job right now, this is what you need for the rest of your life, so you are educated and not ignorant to the world around you”. I think what I can do to help with this is more internal than external. I have been getting better at this, but I am still not completely there. And if you have any suggestions for me, I am completely open to them after my presentation.
- Another thing I need to focus on is not letting anxiety get the best of me. I’ve recently started going to a therapist for a couple of things, and one of them is anxiety. Even if everything is going relatively ok, I still constantly worry. There's this idea in my head I guess, that basically i’m doing everything wrong, and it’s all going to blow up. When this is happening, it’s so hard to actually get stuff done, the same stuff that i’m so worried about. It's not a very logical way to go about work, and life. I have been looking into some options to help with this. Most of the time, if I take a five minute breather I can calm down and not have a panic attack. I need to get better at communicating why I’m leaving the classroom. There is this book that we read in our hero's journey project that has helped with my anxiety so much. Here’s a quote for you, so you can understand what I mean, “I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” This was probably the most beneficial project to me all year so far. It helped me with so many outside aspects that help me with my schoolwork. This book is called Siddhartha and I highly suggest it. But basically, I am finally trying to work with anxiety, and figure out how to cope with it instead of fight against it.