The Northern Light

My journey to college, from the SAT to a teacher who believed in me

Meredith Ablao, News Editor

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Working hard for grades, struggling in tears to complete homework, and ripping huge holes in my paper because of anger are all what I, Meredith Ablao, did quite often growing up. Some days it was math, other days it was science or English. All three subjects were on the SAT my junior year, and that was the end.

Entering my junior year of high school, I had so much trouble studying, focusing, and practicing the concepts that would be on the SAT test, but still I tried all the time anyway. I had flashcards, Khan Academy, and the positive criticism of my parents. I spent hours in frustration over this test that the school made me feel like really, truly controlled my future. I eventually stopped trying due to all the pressure to be perfect, hoping that I was smart enough to do well when the day came.  

After the test was over and I received a low score, I didn’t talk about it with anyone, but being in high school, everyone tells each other everything. With most of my friends receiving high scores in the 1300’s-1400’s range, I felt ashamed and as if my future was completely non-existent. I hit an all time low. I told myself college wasn’t for me since all they care about was this score I got on this test. That summer, when it came to start applications, I only applied to a couple of schools, and really only to preserve my mom’s sanity.

However, as senior year came at me in full swing, I learned more about myself than ever before. Along with self-identification, there were two outside forces that changed my mind: my experiences visiting Central Michigan University (the school I now plan on attending fall of 2018) and my IB Spanish 5 teacher.

I didn’t even plan on liking CMU, but when I arrived, I actually felt comfortable. The professors that I talked to seemed to care about my future there, and talked to me as if I was an educated person, not just a high school student. Despite all my struggle junior year, I immediately knew where I belonged. With words of wisdom and an approachable smile, my spanish teacher Bryan Hill showed me all of the potential that I had. I never told him about my troubles with school and discovering what I wanted to do, he just assumed I was off to do big things after high school and treated me like it, even telling me that he was “one of [my] biggest fans.” If it wasn’t for the guiding words of my teacher and the excitement Central gave me, I would still be searching for a pathway with just a couple months to go until graduation.

Although the IB Spanish five curriculum is tough and CMU is far from home, I want to continue my studies with a major in spanish while following the Physician’s Assistant pathway. My heart is set, and my mind is more than prepared to learn and eventually help people anywhere.

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My journey to college, from the SAT to a teacher who believed in me