Autobiography of myself as a Student: from Bullying to Belief

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Autobiography of myself as a Student: from Bullying to Belief

This autobiographical essay will narrate my journey as a student, focusing on overcoming the challenges of bullying and how it shaped my beliefs and resilience. It will discuss personal growth, the importance of support systems, and lessons learned through these experiences. PapersOwl offers a variety of free essay examples on the topic of High School.

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Beginnings in Chowchilla

I was born on Christmas of 1992 in a community hospital in Merced, California, which is no longer in service. Everyone always tells me I was my mother’s favorite Christmas gift, which I agree with. I grew up comfortable in the relatively small farm town Chowchilla, where the infamous bus kidnapping made nationwide headlines in 1976, about forty-five miles from Fresno, California. We moved into town a year before Manuel was born and have lived there ever since.

Homelife was near perfect.

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I learned later of my father’s struggles for our family to have everything we wanted. He worked long, hard hours as an almond farmer, and harvest season took a heavy toll on him and my mother, though he would never tell us. Around the time I entered high school, my dad told stories of when I was younger, about five to seven years old. We would be sound asleep when he got off work because it was late into the night. He would wake us up to tell us incredible stories of superheroes and brotherhood, after which he would tuck us back into our beds, and we would try to get back to sleep.

Faith and Foundations

Growing up in a devout Catholic family, I was baptized on January 16, three weeks later, as per tradition in my family. My parents taught us the importance of God in our lives. We each started catechism when we entered kindergarten and continued studying even after receiving our first communion in the second grade. My faith formation grew more robust each year, and I continued catechesis until the second year of high school. During high school, I had a significant part in the youth ministries, serving as a youth group member. One occasion that I hold dear to my heart was when the youth group went to a retreat in San Diego called All for God Steubenville San Diego, a weekend Catholic conference for teens. It was here where I found a call to the priesthood a possibility.

Discernment continues to put me in situations where I am paradoxically at peace and scared to death at the same time. I have learned this is a common phrase among my fellow discerning brothers, though I would use a different analogy. I would say that the closer I get to my vocation, the more awe and wonder I feel that God is gracing me with to tell me that I am heading in the right direction. I would be farther along from my perspective, but I dropped the ball with my abysmal academic record after graduating high school.

My vocation director denied my application to enter the Diocese of Fresno. He said that the only thing holding me back was my grades, so I went on to receive my Associate of Arts Degree for Transfer in Philosophy. Upon contacting him, I was denied again, stating that he would accept me if I completed my undergraduate studies through the university system. This has led me to the present.

Academic Struggles and Setbacks

My academic career was nothing to be proud of. I was, for the most part, a lazy student. I knew what the class was doing, but I lacked the drive to push myself to improve in school. This led to many years of summer school. In third grade, I started to feel that my classes were too easy. I found out much later that I was put into remedial classes due to my low standardized testing scores. This pattern continued until I was homeschooled in the fifth grade. I did well outside of the public school system.

In the sixth grade, I went to the public middle school in town. My classes became more complex, and that challenge drove me to keep up. This was the first year that I had three teachers. Classes were split up with Mathematics after recess, or break as it was now called, and Beginning Band after lunch. The rest of the time before math and after music was spent in the main class, which dealt with English, History, and Physical Education. Being in a style as creative as the band was both exciting and intimidating. I made the wrong choice for an instrument and have yet to find the right tune.

Middle School Musings

Middle school was a fantastic experience for me. I was able to join Chris on the school’s wrestling team. Usually, I would have lost interest when I found that I was the least athletic person on the team. My many years in the Chowchilla Youth Sports program brought this on. I played soccer, tee-ball, baseball, and basketball until the fourth grade. Here, I learned that some people are just not made for sports, and I was one of them. I needed to be better to make teams after fifth grade. Wrestling was different. I was finally able to make a team regardless of my athletic ability. I was lucky because my weight class was empty and scarcely filled in other schools. Some kids were either too small or too big to make my class. As a result, I never got very far, and my lack of proper competition did not add to my less-than-impressive stature. After my junior year, I wrestled on and off until the high school cut the program.

Though I never learned to play the trumpet, I did find my voice. Others have told me many times, “You have an amazing voice,” or “Are you classically trained?” or still even, “You have the voice of an angel,” I would laugh and respond, “More like the Screaming Banshee or the sound of nails on a chalkboard.” I know they are likely correct, but joking with others is a way to stay humble. During that year, I entered a talent show as a singer. My act was lip-syncing. I did this to hide how my natural voice sounded, though they knew that it was not my voice when the tech crew played the wrong song on my CD. I was not disqualified, but I certainly did not win. I tried again the following year but was disqualified when I told them I would repeat the act with a different song.

After graduating eighth grade, I learned quickly that life was not as perfect as it seemed. I started losing touch with my closest friends. People stopped picking on me, but they left me alone and ignored me. Despite this new unpopularity, I decided to take on a more optimistic approach and hung out with my English teacher. Incidentally, my cousin and her friends also spent their break and lunch in that room. We became closer, and I made unlikely friendships with people I would have never given a second thought to because of what they were like when they were younger.

Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs

Grade school was difficult for many reasons, but what became a significant problem for me was the constant bullying by my peers. I was shorter and thinner than my classmates by comparison, so that made me the perfect candidate to be the resident human punching bag. Every day I went to school, I had to grin and bear it. My bullies were clever. They were not too bright or would have known not to pick on me. They hardly threw a punch to my face. With the lack of proof added to their squeaky-clean records, I was the odd one out, which led to much of the school, save for a few people I thought were my closest friends, out to get me, labeling me a punk, a label that followed me for most of elementary school.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came in fifth grade. I was allegedly picking on another classmate when I was threatened to run. I was chased into the bathroom, where I was eventually dragged out humiliatingly by a seemingly more petite boy. I do not remember most of what happened during the so-called fight; I only remember seven female classmates shoving me and throwing me to the ground. As a final act, one of the girls stomped hard on my abdomen, causing me to roll over in pain. One of the proudest moments of my life because I could turn the other cheek. As a result of the incident, my mother had me homeschooled for the remainder of the year. One bystander, a classmate, picked me off the ground, and we walked together to the office to report the incident. Eventually, I overcame the attack, which has made me a better person, and I have since forgiven the group.

High school was another story altogether, as the people who decided that I was the enemy suddenly had a change of heart. I never became close to them, but I believe that the changes helped me get over the trauma of how they treated me four years earlier. I have since made peace with my so-called tormentors, and though we do not speak outside of the daily “How’s it going,” the conversations never start. I saw that absence in communication as closure. 

Venturing into College

College life continued to baffle me with how different it was from anything I had previously experienced. I finally got to go to school on my terms. My first day of college was eye-opening. I always used to think that all college professors were rigorous, not allowing any room for mistakes. This myth was quickly put to rest on my second day of classes. On my first day, I woke up two hours earlier than usual. I had a quick breakfast and was out on the road to make the thirty-minute commute to school. I got to school enough time to take an informal tour of the grounds and find my classes.

I was in my first class with my books in hand fifteen minutes early for a course that started at noon, only to find that the previous lesson was not out yet. When I introduced myself to the instructor, I greeted him with a handshake, and he gave me a respectful nod. The class starts, and I am overloaded by the work not being done on the first day. The course was let out about thirty minutes early, and I decided to go home since my next class was not until six o’clock that evening. Once at home, I decided to spend some time doing random things, enjoying the freedom of not being at school in the middle of the day.

I decided to head back to the school at about three thirty in the afternoon so I had plenty of time to return to the campus without complications. If Murphy’s Law is to be believed, I wrecked my mother’s car about three blocks from home. The only thing running through my mind was, “I am going to be late.” I missed the first day of math class due to seemingly minor injuries on my arms from where the airbag burned me. My mother called the school, and they excused me for missing the first day. When I got to class on Wednesday, I was welcomed back with no comment. This was the last time I left the school before finishing all my classes.

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Autobiography of Myself as a Student: From Bullying to Belief. (2023, Sep 02). Retrieved from