I’ll never know what it’s like to be in a class room. I did all my school since kindergarten on books and then from around 4th grade on computers. I even stopped needing my mother’s help with my school after around fifth grade.
All my life I’d seen all the kids walking or driving in the school bus on their way home. Sure, I’d often wonder things like “I wonder what it would be like if I went to school”. These thoughts however will never be fulfilled.
Everyone has that certain subject they LOVED throughout their lives. Mine was always science, except I wasn’t too good at it. I was however good at math; too bad it was the most boring subject out there. During my middle school years, I’d get so bored of all my classes that I would just start doing as much as I could in one day. I always managed to finish at least a month or two ahead of schedule. Which was great! I know had a super long great summer ahead of me to look forward to! Every kids dream am I right?
Too bad school always rears its ugly head around somewhere. When I hit 10th grade I’d decided I didn’t want to go to college. Home school was the only thing I knew! I got to learn at my own pace and do what I wanted when I wanted. Sitting in a classroom wasn’t really what I had in mind for the next four years after graduation. The idea would float around in my head of what I wanted to do and be when I grow up. Everyone told me I was special and would do something special someday.
That messed with my head. It gave me serious anxiety for years. I felt like I had the weight of everyone’s expectations on my shoulders. Graduation was only a few short years away and it seemed like all my friends had figured everything out. It was immensely hard to battle with that feeling of never being good enough to amount to anything. This idea of never finding my life dream would continue to eat me alive during the rest of my high school years.
I was 17 when I graduated and I hated every moment of it. When you’re homeschooled, there isn’t some big ceremony or anything with hundreds of people and parents who show up to see their child. No, instead it was a handful of other homeschoolers from our group and their parents. Usually if there’s more than one kid graduating in a year there’s a lot of people who come because both graduates invited them there.
I was different. I didn’t want people there at all. I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t want people to know I was graduating because that would bring up the questions of “Oh, what school are you going to? What classes are you taking? What are you majoring in?”. Maybe just maybe if I didn’t tell anyone I was graduating no one would notice. No one would project their expectations onto me and I’d be okay. I even worked the morning of my graduation in hopes of not having to go.
Growing up scared me and not knowing what I wanted to do yet made me feel like I’d already failed. I’d spent my summer life guarding and started putting in for more jobs. I had no luck though. For some reason you can have “Not enough experience” for an entry level job that didn’t have any experience qualifications on their application. I started to considering colleges and realized there was no way I could ever afford going to one and deemed it unnecessary for myself. I didn’t see how going to school for another 4-8 years and then still getting turned down for not enough “experience” was worth going into debt over.
I mean if you do a quick google search you will find out that student debt in the US is at 1.41 TRILLION dollars. Why go into debt to go to school for 4-8 years only to end up being an unpaid intern for lack of “Experience”. Your piece of paper saying you graduated for computer programming means nothing. While you were in school learning how to code and getting no experience other people have already jumped into the game. The world decided to learn for themselves and created value within themselves while you sit in a classroom. I wasn’t going to have that for myself so I searched for more.
Eventually while on my never-ending job search my mother mentioned something she saw on the news called Praxis. I immediately looked it up and found their webpage. I’d found everything I wanted to do in life in that very instant. I immediately read all their FAQ pages and anything and everything I could find about it. I’d decided I wanted in on this amazing opportunity that so many other young people were already getting into.
I’d started the application process and was never more excited for a new chapter of my life then in that moment. If I remember correctly the acceptance rate is only around 13-15% which seemed like it was going to be nearly impossible to get in. I wasn’t ready to give up though. I charged full steam ahead because I knew this was for me and that I could make it. There were 3 steps to the process. I had to write two essays and then send them in for evaluation. After that I’d gotten an email saying I’d been asked to continue to the second step of the process. During this step I had to go through an interview with words on a screen. You put in that you’re ready for the question and it gives you a minute or so to think about it and then starts recording your answer. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to do because I’d never been to an interview where I was talking to a screen showing myself. After a few questions in I was feeling confident, that is until my internet went out.
“Of all times why now?!” was all I could think to myself. I thought it was all going to go down the drain. I had no chance of getting in because it automatically put the question down as unanswered. I freaked out and didn’t know what to do. Luckily, I emailed them and got to write in my answer which made me feel a lot better about the situation.
I’d made it into the third step and was so relieved. There was still the one on one interview with someone from Praxis that I had to tackle. I had made it this far and I knew I could do it. The day of the interview was here and I was ready. I got into the call and all pre-game jitters were immediately gone. I’d made it through the interview and was feeling confident in it. A little while passed and I got an email saying I’d been accepted.
Even for a program that is only $11,000 I couldn’t quite afford it. I was lucky enough to find out about their current scholarship for being homeschooled. I wrote another essay and hoped for the best. Sadly, I didn’t get it. I did however get a partial scholarship which paid for enough that I could manage hopefully with my summer job to make it. So, wish me luck because it’s going to be a fun year!
Are you interested in Praxis? It’s a year program with a 6-month professional boot camp where you learn how to create value for you and your brand. Following that is a 6-month apprenticeship with a growing start up in roles like sales, marketing, operations, and the technical side of things. If you want to check it out here’s a link to their website!