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Hey! I’m Adam, I’m 23 years old, and I’m still trying to finish high school.
My family has always been caring and loving, but we barely made enough money for a comfortable living. My Dad worked several jobs just to keep us afloat, and my Mom worked a lot too. I didn't even have time to think about my grades or school.
I decided to find some unofficial work. I still went to school, and afterward I would work small jobs like loading crates or helping my mom with her janitorial work. I tried a lot of different jobs during this time, all the while my teachers would get angry at me for being far behind with my grades and assignments. So I decided to not bother them anymore and to just drop out school.
I had enough money to help my family and even had a little left over for myself. As soon as I turned 18, I found a job at a metal factory, and since I already had two years of work experience under my belt, I learned the job fast. I worked hard and didn’t talk much. A perfect worker.
Soon I got so useful that my boss let me browse through my phone while there was nothing to do. It was a big privilege. During my free time I would hang out with my friends, many of whom were musicians, so at a lot of concerts, and well, bars. My only passion was soccer, I would watch every game and championship very closely, and that was my escape from my life's troubles.
Sadly, my Father passed away. We were at the hospital, me, my mom, and my siblings, we were all crying and trying to make sense of everything. I promised to bring in as much money as I could, but my mom suddenly stopped me and said, “Adam, don’t ruin your life, this is not what your Father would have wanted for you. Go back to school, I'm begging you!’.
I… didn’t want to, but I realized that my Mom was right. So I returned to school, reducing my hours at the factory, instead of quitting altogether.
My first day at school was... weird. The teacher introduced me in front of the entire class, and everyone was just staring at me like I was an alien. She asked me to tell everyone a little bit about myself, and I said “hi…I’m Adam and I’m old.” Some people giggled, but most of them were still just staring, weirded out.
During my first few days, nobody would talk to me, and I was okay with that, I would just stare out the window during breaks.
One day, a group of guys and girls came up to me and started asking me why I was going to school at my age. I answered with cheesy jokes, like “Oh, I just forgot about school one day and then was like oh yeah, school, I should go there.” People giggled, and started asking me a lot questions about my jobs and stuff. I guess I got kinda popular.
TOO popular. One girl in particular liked me and tried to sit with me during any subject we had together or in the cafeteria. She was asking a lot about me and I answered with my usual cheesy jokes, and she'd laugh way too hard at them.
I didn’t want any problems, so I tried to sit away from her and limit our chats without hurting her feelings. But every time I sat away, she would find me and sit right next to me, like a Yo-Yo.
Work sent me a little curveball too. At my usual late shift my boss came to me, patted me on my shoulder and said, “Adam, how about a raise?” I said, “Yeah, that would be nice!” and he told me how much I could earn, and then he ended with, “...of course you'd have to return to work full time.” I said I couldn’t do that because I had school. His smile immediately changed to a frown. “Okay, then you can’t use your phone during your shifts anymore”. Uh-oh.
My grades at school weren’t great, because I had to balance it with work. So I was failing everywhere – at school and at my work. I was waking up, going to school, then to work right afterward and I only slept for like 3-5 hours every day, even on the weekends. I couldn’t pay attention in school or at work.
Teachers were understanding of my situation, but they also noticed how much this girl was clinging to me and they were suspiciously looking at us every time we sat together. Also, every time I saw my boss at work, he would say something like, “you’re getting slower, Adam… you should be grateful that I’m still letting you work here.”
After the hundredth time of him saying something like that, I stood up and said, “Okay, bye then.” As I was walking away, he followed me and was saying “come on, Adam, you know you won’t find anything better, you should be grateful for what you have…” at this point I snapped and shouted at him with…and not with very nice words.
But his words stuck with me, like how he said, “You know you won’t find anything better.” I took it too close to heart and stopped going to school too.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com