How Attending An Alternative School Changed My Life

How Attending An Alternative School Changed My Life

Attending an alternative school can really help change someone's life.

Many people in America have at least attended high school. Whether it be a public high school or a private high school. Not many people have attended an alternative high school. I was one of those students who went to the alternative high school, known as Castleton, in my hometown of Oceanside, New York. A one hallway school located on the third floor of the district's kindergarten center. Castleton has no more than 60 students at a time and they all range from freshmen to seniors. The three years I spent there were three of the best years of my life. Castleton helped me overcome my anxiety, and helped me control my emotions through not only classroom lessons but life lessons as well. The bonds I made with the students and faculty will last with me forever.

In my freshman year of high school, I was not the best student. I had a reputation for lashing out at my teachers as well as classmates. I struggled with anxiety, and even at one point depression. Over the course of the school year I was constantly called into the Deans office, which was never fun for any student. Around the month of April, my anxiety got increasingly worse. I started acting out more and was even suspended from school multiple times. Eventually, after too many outbursts I was no longer permitted to take the New York State Regents Exams in school, I was now required to take them with a tutor in a separate location. The school year ended and my status as a student was in limbo. My last chance was to attend Castleton.

During the summer in between my freshman, and sophomore years of high school I was scheduled to have an interview with the principal, and some faculty members of the alternative school. I went to the meeting, angry, and not willing to give anyone the time of day. I sat with my head down as my dad answered questions that were meant for me. I eventually got up and left the meeting before it was even over. I was accepted into the school with what my teachers said was one of the most memorable interviews they have ever had.

Sophomore year began the same way my freshman year ended, terribly. I felt as if I did not fit in, and I felt like no one liked me very much, which in a small school is very hard to deal with because you cannot really avoid anyone. There is always one person that comes to mind when I think about how I did not get along with some of my fellow students at first. My good friend Nick and I always butted heads. Eventually, though I started to make friends with everyone, including Nick. In fact, most of the people who were at Castleton my sophomore year became my closest friends. Not only was I able to make strong connections with the students, I also made everlasting bonds with my teachers as well. Thanks to the very small class sizes at Castleton the teachers were able to take the time to actually get to know you. They gave all of us not only school lessons, but life lessons. They did not just teach us how to do equations, or write essays, they taught us how to believe in ourselves, to do what makes us happy, and to never let anyone tell us what we can, and cannot do.

My Junior and Senior years at Castleton were two of the best years of my young life. The only rough point I remember was when our beloved science teacher, Mr. Wrobel, tragically passed away in September of my junior year. This tragedy brought all of us together and made us all closer with one another. We held our heads high and kept pushing forward towards our goals. That is what Mr. Wrobel would’ve wanted us all to do. After that experience, I took it upon myself to better manage my anxiety and use all of the resources at my disposal to reach my goals in life. Junior year ended and senior year went off without a hitch. I honestly do not even remember any important moments or significant events that occurred during my final year at Castleton. Maybe it is because compared to the other two years nothing big really happened.

Thanks to Castleton, and the alternative school experience, I was able to overcome the things that plagued my freshman year and graduated knowing that I can accomplish my goals as long as I work hard, and I always ask for help when I need it. Because of the close comradery I had with not only my fellow students but also the faculty members, I felt my anxiety all but disappear. I can never thank the people of Castleton enough for what they have done for me over the course of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Rebecca Richter

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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