Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

I Can Do It

I Can Do It
by Kristy Morrison

Some people go through their lives with only minor changes, minor events. Then again, there are people whose lives can change entirely in just one year. I am one of those people. One of the milestones of my life occurred when I was in high school, and changed my life completely.

I started high school like that of many other freshmen. I was scared about being lost, getting shoved into a locker, and the dreaded "Freshmen Fridays". To me it seemed as if I was just another face in the crowed halls trying to find my way to my first period class.

I suppose you could say that I was a over-reacting a bit my first week of school. I only got lost once. The lockers were far too small to get shoved into. And the principal quickly demystified the rumors of “Freshman Fridays”. I started to meet friends and found myself enjoying high school. I went to all the dances and moved until I was too sore to even walk. I became manager of the track team. I got so involved at the high school; my mom wondered where I had gone to.

Not only did I keep myself busy with extra-curricular activities, I kept myself busy with my school work. School had always been important to me and I wanted to make sure that I did my very best at it. I prided myself on the fact that I had a GPA high enough for the high school's honor roll.

My freshman year ended all too quickly. I was amazed at how fast everything went by. I could not wait until next year. As I entered high school as a sophomore, I couldn't help but to feel a little pompous. I started to let things slide that I normally wouldn't have. School became a second to my social life. While I still got the good grades, I wasn't near as active in the classroom or in my extra-curricular activities. I figured I had two years after my sophomore year, so I could afford to slack off for just one year.

Then in the last week of March 2004, I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked. I felt that everything I had ever worked for was crashing down on me. I threw away my ability to be an immature teenager. I felt as if I could kiss a four year college good-bye. In my mind, having a baby meant I could never be the same again.

At school I received looks of disgust from my peers, especially those of my former friends. To them, I was just another statistic. I quit going to Lynden and transferred to a pregnant teen school. I would go to school, sit by myself, do my work, and then come home and cry. I just wanted my life to be that of a "normal" teenager.

I decided not to go back to that school for my junior year. Instead I went to an alternative high school. My teacher saw that I wasn't doing my best. She told me that I was a person of worth. Not only was I a great mom, I was an excellent student. She encouraged me to live my life the way I wanted, and if I wanted to go to a four year college, I could still do it. I decided right then and there that I had to do my best. Not just for myself, but for my son.

Because of my transfers, I had lost almost a year worth of credits. I was told that I would not be able to graduate with my senior class in June '06. I was determined to prove them wrong. I started to work 80 hours a week on my school work to show that I could, and would, graduate on time. In less than three months, I received those missing credits back, plus a few extras.

It took me until my senior year in school to realize that I can still do anything I set my mind to. I am determined to be my son's role model and make him proud of me. I cannot wait to walk across that stage and receive my diploma. I will be overjoyed to know that my 18 month old son is somewhere in the stands, witnessing what I thought would never happen. I never imagined being able to be a teen mom and graduate on time.