Dear High School, We’re Breaking Up

Dear High School, We’re Breaking Up_5fbede0ea3bea.jpeg
Chicago College Readiness Emmanuel-John Balmonte Batayola Student Voice The Belief Gap University of Arizona

Dear High School, We’re Breaking Up

Dear High School, We’re Breaking Up

May 1 marks a rite of passage for many high school seniors across America: National College Decision Day, where students who have been accepted to multiple colleges make a decision about which school they will attend in the fall. It’s the end of a stressful, months-long process of filling out applications, writing numerous essays, scouring for scholarships and making hard financial decisions all while still completing the last year of high school. May 1 is their chance to breathe and to reflect on how far they’ve come.

To My Dearest High School,

I don’t know where to start. I am tired of waking up at 6 a.m. to visit you. The commute is rather long and when I am late, you decide to punish me. I feel like you don’t want to understand me at all. You offer many sports and after-school clubs that don’t exactly fit who I am.

I am not going to lie to you, I am seeing someone else. The University of Arizona caught my eye last year in October. Aside from her beautiful campus, I think she is really smart. She offers classes that I am actually interested in and works around my schedule.

She lives in Arizona and she’s hot, not the humid hot. She throws fits in August and July, but I can deal with that. You tend to give me the cold shoulder one day, but then you’re happy the next day. I honestly do not understand your mood swings.

Alas! To say that I never loved you would be a lie. I won’t forget the great friends you connected me with and the sense of freedom you gave me from home. You allowed me to escape my personal life at its worst times and offered me guidance when I needed it the most.

You have made me grow as a person over these past four years. They say you never stop loving someone, but learn to live without them.


Emmanuel-John Balmonte Batayola


Emmanuel-John Balmonte Batayola is a senior at Rickover Naval Academy and plans to attend The University of Arizona in the fall. An earlier version of this post appeared on the Mikva Challenge Blog.
Photo by Remi, CC-licensed.
What Is the Belief Gap?Too often, students of color and those who face challenging circumstances are held to lower standards simply because of how they look or where they come from. Close the Belief Gap →

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