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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18 Types Of Mini-Golfers You Come Across On An 18-Hole Course

Which type of mini-golfer are YOU?


Mini-golf: A fun activity that has been around since 1916. We have all played mini-golf before and have probably played a variety of courses over the year. The one thing you might not always realize is the players around you. Next time you go mini-golfing take a look at those playing around you and see if you can find these 18 types of players. Even see which of these mini-golfers you fit!

The professional golfer.

This is the golfer who always has to look at the hole, line up his shot every time, and takes the rules seriously such as adding a stroke when the ball goes out of bounds. I mean it's mini-golf, you don't need to line up ALL your shots.

The driver.

This is the golfer who drives the ball as if he was on an actual golf course. It's one thing if you have a power swing, but this person typically drives the ball purposefully.

The obnoxious one.

This is the golfer who is just wild and all over the place. They make such a big deal out of every play, might make irrelevant comments, etc. It's just unnecessary.

The cheerleader.

This is the person who is constantly cheering others on. Even if it's a bad play they'll say "awe, it's o.k! You still got this!"

The family with the annoying kids.

This is the family where the parents don't know how to control their kids. This is where the kids will go to the next hole before their parents, destroy some of the property, or even interfere with other people golfing.

The family that tries to act like a family.

This is the family that you can clearly see is just acting like a family. It could be as simple as a family that seems tense and is just playing together to a family where the dad and kids are playing while the mom just walks around with them filing her nails.

The group of 8+.

This is the group that holds EVERYONE up. They don't care if there are 8+ balls on one hole at a time. If you are this group, please let people behind you go ahead.

The inseparable couple.

This is the couple that is all over each other. They're constantly kissing if they aren't playing or they are taking pictures of each other.

The teenage girls.

These are the girls acting all innocent and taking selfies while playing while their parents sit near the entrance for them. It's the only thing they can do without parent supervision.

The oldie.

This is literally a grandma or grandpa who is naturally just slow. They are so adorable, but it'll take a good 2 hours to play a full 18 holes with them because of how slow they move.

The smokers.

These are the people smoking cigs or cigars while playing. Let's just hope they aren't smoking around kids and put their butts in the little buckets at each hole.

The slow pokes.

These are the golfers that just take forever. If you are a slow poke please be considerate of those behind you and let them go ahead of you.

The competitive one.

This is the one who is constantly up in your face about how they're going to win. They are the ones who can't just enjoy a game of mini-golf.

The out of bounder.

This is the golfer who constantly hits the ball out of bounds. At that rate you don't even give them a penalty stroke because they'd be up to 10+ on one hole.

The goofball.

This is the person who just acts silly. They could be the ones using a child's size putter or balancing on different rocks or stumps on the course.

The clueless one.

This is the one who never realizes what hole their on, when it's their turn, or what they are even doing.

The scorekeeper.

This is the golfer who takes keeping score seriously. Or this could just be the person who naturally always keeps score when you go mini-golfing.

The normal couple (or group).

These are the people we all love. It's the people who like some friendly competition, but don't goof around. They move from hole to hole at a good pace and keep to themselves. They also are cognizant of those around them. These are the mini-golfers we all love and should strive to be.

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