An Academic U-Turn Essay Example


Reading and writing are two of the most fundamental principles in communication. 84 percent of the world is considered literate, which means they are able to read and write. This means that the majority of people you come in contact with, won't have troubles communicating with you! Knowing this, I'm sure you can imagine the expectations that parents have on their kids and the teachers have on their students to be able to read and write. This is where my worries came from as a kid. This is why I thought there was something wrong with me. Was I just falling behind or did I need to be taken in to the local pediatrician for professional help? The problem wasn’t just that my reading level was way behind, but I couldn’t even pay attention long enough to comprehend the instructions of our 4th grade geography bee competition. I would try to read easy books with my hands over my ears to block out any noise coming from my classmates but I still seemed to get distracted. Nothing would work even with my parents trying everything they could. Their last effort was ADHD medication, which in the end made the situation worse. With trust in their local school systems, they had me continue the process as a normal student, climbing the grade ladder year by year.   

My teachers grew to know me as the challenged student, who could read about as well as the students 4 grades below us.   

“Class, you have 15 minutes to take this reading comprehension quiz! Once you finish, you may be excused to lunch!” announced Mrs. Kate, who was my 7th grade teacher.  

15 minutes later and I had failed another reading comprehension quiz. As I walk out the door, I noticed Mrs. Kate was looking at me as she held the door open for the students. I continued to walk, keeping my head down to avoid the conversation I hated most.  

“Clayton! How did it go this time?” Mrs. Kate asked.  

“I'd rather not talk about it” I replied and then forced a fake smile. “As usual, I still have a lot to work on”.

I got rather good at having that conversation, due to the fact that I had it at least 3 times a year with every teacher. It’s a shame to admit but honestly, I had gotten used to it. I had gotten used to being the kid who needed to be explained the instructions multiple times until I knew what it was that I needed to do. I was hard working, and managed to keep passing grades but I had lost hope because I knew that classes only got harder and harder. That was until a Christmas morning in 2015, where my academic trajectory would be changed forever.   

We all eagerly waited at the bottom of the stairs, for our parents to give us the green light to start this chaotic Christmas routine of scrambling to our presents.  

“Come on up you guys!” My parents yelled from upstairs as they hit record on their camera.  

My siblings and I came running up the stairs as fast as we could eagerly anticipating what Santa had brought us this year! We opened up presents, and threw wrapping paper all over the floor until there was nothing left but to play with our toys.  

“Wait everyone! There’s one more! It’s for Brooklyn,” our dad shouts as my sister yips with joy.  

That joy quickly diminished as she pulled back the wrapping paper and reveals a book. Michael Vey was the title of the book. It had a well-drawn cover, that consisted of a door and boy with lightning coming out of his hands. Before this moment, I had looked at books as my worst enemy that only showed my weakness; But this time I felt a little spark of hope. This book actually looked good to me. Considering the fact that my sister seemed so disappointed, I thought I’d ask her if I could borrow it! But before I could ask, she noticed me glancing at the book. She looked around to make sure my parents weren’t looking, and then hurled the book at me, hitting me square in the stomach. She stuck her tongue out at me and walked away. I sat there, reviewing the book cover, excited to get started on reading. Could this be what I needed to start progressing? Would I never have to have that same annoying conversation with my teachers after every reading comprehension test?  

That was the start of my journey; the journey of finding books I enjoyed to improve my reading skills. It took me a long time to finish this book-which had the full title of “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25.” -But I finished it. Not only did I finish it once, but I finished it twice. I would’ve finished it 3 times but the second book of the series came out, so I moved on to that book! This same pattern continued all the way until the seventh book. After all the books were released and 3 years passed by, I had finished the series over 3 times. I also finished a few other science-fiction books, and enjoyed them as well! Thanks to the time I had spent reading, I felt as if I had kick started a part of my brain that helped me comprehend things I never would’ve dreamed of! I had created habits that would help me throughout the future.   

Now this brings me to the present day, which my seventh-grade self never would’ve dreamed of. I had graduated high school with an acceptable GPA. I had moved out of the country in order to learn how to read and form sentences in a foreign language. After having spent time away from home I came back, and finally reached my first day of college education. The hope that I lost as a kid, was found and helped me excel in my studies! If I'm being honest, I would find knots in my stomach just thinking about this moment. My first “real” essay. The effect that one moment had on me, the moment I first experienced a desire to read, changed my life for the better. Little did my parents know that their gift for my sister would ultimately be a life changing gift for me. Thank you, mom and dad. 

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