Hey There! My name is Alesha! This is my 4th post on Medium. I totally forgot to pay homage to where I started on other blogs that I’m on. I decided to post Medium versions of those first blog posts. I thought I wanted to save these for a future book. And I still plan to, but this post and the few posts after this is ripping a page out of my school life, a period that I really don’t acknowledge too much nowadays. Notice the relentless self-belief I had even when others didn’t believe in me. It’s almost like I knew great things were going to happen before they happened. When I read this, it brings back odd feelings that are forever with me. I hope my friends at this point understand I don’t hate them, I do not like the experiences that I had. For homecomings, they have a home to return to, I technically don’t. I moved on but when people ask what school I went to, it’s a reminder of a painful period (not a menstrual cycle). I may go back and cut some this because I really want to save this for a future book. Yes, I’ll remember to edit as well.
I had many people tell me I was full of potential. I also saw the jealously in so many people.
Now. On to the story.
Even as a youngin in grade school, I used to notice that I was targeted by many of my peers and teachers alike, I honestly felt like I didn’t have no real friends with the exception of a few. My mom taught me at a very young age to not get jealous of the people around me, but the same love wasn’t returned. Between gossip, the comments on how long my hair was (which I found weird), or how can a student like you do all these things (maintain high honors, be an altar server kid, volunteer at the Children’s Museum, place at science fairs, etc) it was a mess. Kids did attempt to bully me, and teachers did nothing but look the other way. I rose above it and made it through. I won’t forget how mean some people were and how thrilling it was to some of them to see you struggle. They didn’t expect much and they thought they were doing a favor to us by being there, and it showed.
I learned early that not everyone is on your side, some people look for things that isn’t there.
It was always breaking the constant stereotypes thrown on me.
I love being a Trojan. However, there was heartbreak in high school. While many told me I was really good at basketball, I didn’t understand why I was cut from the basketball team twice. I did not get to drive at the age of 16.
Senior year I consider the miracle year. Grades were stellar. I was doing really well in math. I was a reporter for a semester in addition to writing for the Indianapolis Star. There was a period in my life when I was sincerely excited about college.
Remember me being cut from the basketball team? I ended up getting offers from two other schools, in addition to being offered a spot on Who’s Who Amongst High School Students (Sports Edition). I still have my letters, because to this day, it’s a mystery. I have no clue how I got offers to play basketball without playing a single day of high school ball. Moral of this story? Things have a way of working itself out. Seriously. I was really fulfilled by being on the bowling team, retreat team, ambassadors, and on student council. I also served as senate and representative page.
Things get really interesting, I touched on several things in high school, but from there things get really challenging. I won’t use names, b/c that’s not necessary. I just hope you know whatever obstacles are in your path, you can overcome it.
In my very first semester of college, I started to question why I was so excited to come here my whole life. Just like in grade school, I found myself around people who stereotyped me and assumed things about me, again. Since I experienced something like this before, I knew what was happening. Until you had something like this happen to you, you don’t know what it’s like, just saying. When I walked into a classroom, I had some people ask me “What is someone like you doing in a major like this?” My grades were always lower than my peers (even though we all put in the same amount of effort) and I didn’t understand why. Along with the insulting comments, I didn’t understand what was happening. Was this happening because I was a really bad student or something that’s out of my control? Before you know it, I was in trouble with the school, and I had a particular professor do something illegal. Like my mom wasn’t smart enough to know what to do. She’s a college graduate).
I was cut from sorority rush the very first round, and in addition, I was cut from 20+ organizations. I had a math professor tell me that I was not cut out for college level work and why are you here? I even had a professor tell me my CGT work is the worst work he’s ever seen. I had another theater professor tell me my performance was one of the worst performances of the class and he was embarrassed for me. Discouragement was a regular thing for me, needless to say I didn’t feel the love. Around 2010, right after a family member passed away, I was really sick, so much to the point where I should have dropped out but I was trying to keep my scholarship. Many of my professors did not believe me when I said I was sick, even with doctors’ notes and proof from the school. Unfortunately, you can’t force professors to accommodate you, they have to want to do the right thing. Even when I thought grades were given to me unfairly, I tried to challenge them, but the school sided with the professor(s). I even emailed a professor asking if I could get an incomplete due to my circumstances. When you are at your lowest of lows, people show there true colors, honestly.
In 2012, a friend that I lost touch with passed away. Then in 2013, I lost another friend. I had several friends confess to me they attempted suicide. In spring 2014, my family was going to funeral after funeral. On the day of one of the funerals was the same day I was rejected out of a organization that I really wanted to be involved in and on top of that, another family member was diagnosed with a health condition.. I can’t even begin to tell you what it feels like to try to focus in classes with all this going on. I was being pushed around by my school groups, I was saved when I was elected as Pledge Trainer. If I didn’t get that, I honestly questioned if I was going to return to college the following semester. May 2014 was rough because a family member was sick. The same week she was in the hospital I saw a person hurting from a gun shot wound. I also was asked to pray over several others that committed suicide. Some of my favorite actors have committed suicide. (R.I.P Lee Thompson, and Robin Williams)
Even though in college I was made to feel like a failure a lot of times, I saw myself as a success even though they didn’t. I pictured the success in my head, then I worked backwards to the spot I was currently at, and make a plan to get myself to the place I saw in my head. I hope that makes sense.
I do want to take the time to say I love my college friends. I was always fond of you and your successes.
I realize that rejection was really God’s protection. Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was being re-directed to something better.
If you find yourself going through struggles, people telling you that you won’t amount to much, professors telling you that you suck and your work is the worst work they’ve ever seen, finding yourself receiving unfair treatment, being rejected time and time again, people accusing you of things that you didn’t do, people putting labels, stereotypes, and limits on you, I’ve been there, trust me. I write this to say that you can make something of yourself, I promise. I was the person they came down on 10 times harder on, if mistakes were made, I was made to feel like an ultimate failure (even though you can learn from them). I remember specially me being in a group, the person who’s dance marathon campaigns didn’t get funded; I messaged 100s of people on my network (friends, family, etc) about my Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ campaign; not a single one financially supported me. This is not to call anyone out, but I understand first hand what it feels like to not get supported when you are trying to move forward with your life and you ask for help (and if you do have people that financially back you, please take this from a place of a person that saw zeros on a regular basis: please don’t take it for granted. For all the people that get their campaigns funded, there are many more that don’t.)
My mom tells me that I’ll be inspiration to someone else, and one of these days you will have a stories to tell especially to those that think you had it easy or had things handed to me. I did not enjoy the pain, and I won’t forget it. But looking back, it prepares you for the success you are destined for, that no one can take away from you. The adversity taught me how to handle the success when it comes to you, that way you won’t take it for granted. I was told no so many times that I should add no to my name.
If you really know me, you will know I didn’t have it easy and it was a journey to get to the place I am today. Everyone sees the success but no one see the pain or struggle it took for me to get there. I experienced the highs of highs and the lows of lows. I write this to tell you if you are having a hard time, you can still do it.