The high school teachers who dress coded me daily are now congratulating me on my success

It’s summer, and it’s time to cut the snakes out the grass. And yes, I’m talking about my old high school teachers and admin. This one’s for them.

I spent my whole high school career getting straight A’s and taking part in clubs, journalism, tennis, and leadership, so obviously it seems like I was the perfect dweeb. But although the first two years included me wearing Brandy Melville cardigans and being a total metal mouth, junior and senior year I became a ~rebel~.

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Along with my newfound badass self, I came to school wearing cheeky shorts and crop tops. This obviously didn’t go over too well with teachers and other staff, and I found myself constantly being pulled into the principal’s office to change into another outfit, which usually consisted of some sketchy gym shorts and ratty t-shirts with random sweat stains on it.

But of course, I never let my grades slip, and I stayed in the same (or more) extracurricular activities because I wanted to be a private school, NYC girl and my mom would burn our bridge if I ever got below a 4.0 GPA. So academically, I was in the top 5% of my grade, and I was even vice president of the student body for two years.

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I just think it’s funny how often I got criticized by the “adults” for acting and looking how I wanted. How many times have I gotten the lecture that I have to dress professionally while going to school because that’s how I’m going to dress for my future career? Too many. And I’m typing this while wearing a crop top that goes way above my belly button and jeans that have six huge holes in them. All six of my tattoos are showed off in this outfit, and my blue hair and septum piercing tie the whole look together – in my humble opinion.

I also found it interesting that whenever I went to mandatory leadership meetings with the school admin (principal, vice principal, discipline officer, etc.), they always seemed to forget my name or forget to acknowledge my presence. I went to every meeting, took notes, and pitched ideas only to be seen as a nameless girl sitting in the chair next to everyone just because I didn’t look like the other makeup-free, normal-looking kids.

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I just finished my first year of college, and I can’t even tell you how many times high school teachers or administrators have reached out to me on Facebook to congratulate me on all my accomplishments. Like LOL, where were you when I was getting treated like shit by your co-workers just because I didn’t want to look like the other kids in my classes?

At first, it hurt. All the accomplishments that I had achieved in high school were never noticed because of a dress code and because I wanted to express myself. But now that I have some credibility to my name besides awards ceremony certificates, the same people who ignored me are coming up to me and congratulating my success.

It would’ve been nice if I was treated as a worthy, equal being when I had to see all of you every day for four years of my life. I forgive you, but I’ve moved on, and I’m doing so well that I laugh at all the unfair treatment that I experienced for so long.

Moral of the story? Do well for yourself while being exactly who you are even if you’re criticized for it. They’ll come crawling back later on, but by then, you’ll be able to say, “Laters, baby.”

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