<p>This isn't in response to any specific question. I chose the topic for two reasons. First, it allows me to explain why I transferred to an online high school for my junior and senior year, and second, it allows me to put a positive spin on the experience, highlighting what I have learned and why what I have learned will help me to succeed in a college setting. </p>
<p><strong><em>Remember: this is only a first draft.</em></strong> Any comments or suggestions are much appreciated.</p>
<p>EDIT: I realize this is a bit too long. <em>FIRST DRAFT</em> :)</p>
<p>When I walked into Mount Lebanon High School on that crisp September morning as a freshman, I expected to spend all four of my high school years there. I imagined I would meet some challenges, but I really wasnt expecting anything earth-shattering to occur.</p>
<pre><code>Then, on a wintry morning in February of 2002, I was hit with something I never could have imagined. About ten minutes after my alarm went off, I was struck with a throbbing pain on the left side of my forehead. In my feeble efforts to locate some Tylenol, I came to realize that I could not stand the light in the hallway. I was hit with my first ever migraine headache that day. It would not be my last.
As I missed day after day of school, the work began to pile up. Even worse, I had to teach myself the material in order to make an effort to keep up with the classes I was missing. I learned that I had to set goals and deadlines for things if I really hoped to accomplish something. These skills that I developed while finishing out my sophomore year through homebound instruction are skills that I probably wouldnt have developed had I just coasted through a normal high school life.
In October of 2003 I took the biggest risk I have taken in my entire life. Rather than earning Bs and Cs at Mount Lebanon without really learning anything, I enrolled in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. This way, even if I had a migraine early in the day, I would be able to work at night, and keep up with a full, challenging academic schedule. Early on, I began to fall a bit behind. I questioned whether I had made the right choice. How was I supposed to keep up with the work with no teachers to push me along? It took all the strength I had to push myself along. It was up to me to decide when to work and when to play. I feel my junior year was sort of an epiphany for me. Cyber School allowed me to see the big picture. I realized that in the real world, there is no teacher to tell you what to do. Your parents arent there to remind you to do your homework. I learned that you have to force yourself to set goals, figure out how you will achieve those goals, and most importantly, follow through with your plans. Self motivation is the greatest skill I have learned yet, and I learned it through my experience at the Cyber School.
Attending the Cyber School also allowed me to expand my interests. Late in my junior year, through independent research on the internet, I taught myself the inner workings of a computer. More importantly, I took this newly gained knowledge and applied it; I built my very own personal computer from parts ordered individually. I also developed a deep interest in politics, through independent study, utilizing books, television, and the internet. Again, I applied the knowledge I had gained by volunteering for a political campaign. This taught me the value of public service.
While I the migraine headaches that forced me to take an unusual path to a high school education were the worst pain I have ever endured, I feel the outcome of my struggle is a very positive one. I feel the experiences made possible by my enrollment at the Cyber School have given me something I could not have obtained from a normal brick and mortar high school education. Because I am now able to set goals, motivate myself to accomplish things, and seek out knowledge independently, I feel I will do very well in a college setting, where success is up to the student.