At 13 I had two extremely important and life altering discussions with my high school principle.
They both were about my potential.
The first was essentially to counter the heavy social pressure to give up learning before the end of high school. I was told you could learn how to do anything here so here is another chance to do what *you* want. But more that than in a school with the resources that gave me those chances. Chem lab? Got. Bio labs? Got. Technical drawing? Got. Drama space and books and teachers? Got.
So I changed my classes to be STEM first but with a heavy side dose of arts
I needed my second discussion because I was 13 and the peer pressure was to waste time at school. I was goofing off and even skipped some classes.
That second discussion didn’t just help me, it meant I asked was that actually worth losing the future I wanted? And then wow, I wanted to give so many people that same chance and then the follow up chance at least.
And it wasn’t phrased as I’ll end up in “bad” jobs if I didn’t- just that the chances here were due to having the people and infrastructure to help me do what I really truly wanted to do.
I actually got to follow two, TWO!, paths at the same time. I ignored all the free time in senior school and filled them in with more classes
I ended up with tertiary qualifications in art and in science.
In many ways I surpassed expectation by doing both, and pretty well even if not in the highest grades.
I knew that was the cost.
I think about that a lot.
All the schools without the resources for each student to have what they need.