Insider's Guide to High School

Don’t Let Your Disability Hold You Back

MANCHESTER, Connecticut, U.S.A. – You’re in control of your own destiny. Be the one to achieve your words. Look forward and not back. Stop looking back at the negative things you went through, no matter what life throws at you.
Life is hard. Sometimes in life you have go through trials and tribulations to get where you want to be.
Life is filled with lessons. Accomplish your goals and have your mind set. Those that want you to fail will never stop. Never let negative people interfere with where you are going.
Even if that means going to a new school.
It can be a challenge, being thrown into new environment where you don’t feel comfortable. I remember being bounced around from school to school. It was hard because I had to keep making new friends and with a disability, I was faced with even more difficulties.
But never give up – always persevere. You might be thinking that you don’t know me or my struggles, so I will share this: because of my disability, I am forced to attend special education classes.
What do people automatically assume? I hate the words “special ed” with a passion.
Does this term mean that I might be mentally challenged or dyslexic? People don’t really know the variety of disabilities that are out there.
I am a visual learner. That means that I learn best by seeing. Math is definitely my worst struggle and has been since second grade. I remember being in math class and being really sad because everyone would finish in time and I would be stuck still trying to figure out the problem.
Do you know how it makes me feel when I see my classmates receive countless numbers of rewards and I am left in the dust? I wanted to give up so bad, but I sat in the audience pretending to act like nothing could faze me.
It hurt me so much that tried to avoid all math classes and not attend the special classes.
Then in my first year of high school, it hit me. I needed to change. Why should I let my disability be such a disturbance? This is my life and only I can call all the shots.
This disability isn’t going to hold me back. To do better, I decided to actually attend the special ed classes because the class was only there to help me excel in life. I was so tired of being hopeless.
I was tired of letting my disability be a clutch. I knew that special ed was something that was going to help me and make life way easier. When things got very challenging, I wanted to quit, but something deep inside me told me to keep pushing and to never give up.
Now, I’ve finished my junior year and everything I accomplished was a blessing. I received six rewards on honors achievements, one for best writer, and a gold medal for my Ghana project.  I couldn’t believe how far I had come.
I am so proud of what I am becoming. I sometimes just sit there and think of the times when people doubted me, or called me “slow” or “stupid.” Now my wounds are healing and I am taking control of my destiny and not caring what the world thinks.
I am working on conquering my dreams. Like I said, YOU are in control of your own destiny.
Don’t let this year of going into a new school be a setback just because you feel like you’re unable. Don’t let a disability be a setback, even if you’re bounced around from one place to another like me.
Focus on yourself and work to get better. Finding friends and people who relate to you is very hard, but try joining some clubs that fit your interests. That way you will have something to talk about, something interesting that relates to both of you.
Sit next to people in the cafeteria. Don’t sit by yourself in a new school.
A new school can make you feel small and empty, just trying to make it through the day with a new schedule and a new locker. But never show anyone that you’re shy. Have confidence. Hold your head up high.
Get out of your comfort zone and call the shots. This is your life – take control.
If you bounce from school to school, you can use social media but don’t let it distract you from learning.
If you have a disability, try to do extra work, get help and do all your homework. Don’t let it be a setback. Let it set you forward to reach your goals.
Conquer your dreams!
Sherry Sah is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
Your tax-deductible contribution can help support this nonprofit at