I came to Crossroads Alternative Middle School in the last quarter of my 7th grade year. I came from Shadow Ridge, a school where i had been bullied, been a bully, gotten into arguments with teachers and peers, and had problems with pretty much everyone in the entire school. I was a manipulative, lying, cheater and a narcissist.
I got what I wanted when I wanted it. I’m not afraid to say that I was afraid coming to Crossroads. After everything that I heard about this school I was worried on how my experience was going to be. I knew a little bit about the Discovery program, only bits and pieces of what teachers had told me but I didn’t know what the gist of it was. My experience at Crossroads turned out to be way different than I expected.
I feel like I have grown in some ways but also that I have stayed stuck in my some of my old ways. I feel like the ways that I have stayed the same would be a good place to start. One of the strongest ways that I have stayed the same is I’m still always involved in drama with other people. At Shadow Ridge every other day there was some new form of drama that I was involved in, and I feel like as that drama has lessened because Crossroads is a smaller school I still feel like there is the same amount of drama just with a smaller group of people. Another way that I haven’t really grown as an individual is I’ve still bullied people in Crossroads.
I feel like anyone that I saw as a threat to me or my group of friends, I would treat them as a threat. On more than one occasion i turned the other girls in crossroads against them and made sure that no one liked them. As my teacher put it i’m an “alpha dog” and I lead the other girls. I did this with multiple people and some of them ended up being my friends. You would think after me becoming good friends with them I would learn to not judge people and to stop thinking of everyone as a threat to me but I don’t and i still struggle with that.
The final way that I haven’t really changed is I still threaten people. I guess that in reality threatening goes along with the bullying but i have threatened multiple people this year. Not threatening to like severely hurt them or anything just threatening to fight them and other stuff. It does go along with the bullying i see other people as a threat to meand I feel the need to go after and attack them in whatever way possible. While these are some of my more negative experiences at crossroads I have positive experiences too.
I know that it may seem like nothing has really changed but i feel like I have grown as a person in other ways, for example: I own up to my behaviors now, more so than I did when i was at shadow ridge.When I was at shadow ridge I would lie and never admit to my behaviors , which only dug my hole deeper and everyone knows that. But i didn’t. I think that my thinking behind those behaviors was that by admitting that I was wrong I was making other people think that i’m weak and that I am like letting other people control me. After my experience at crossroads, I know now that that isn’t true and that admitting to my behaviors is the first step to actually correcting them.
Now when I get redirected I just admit that my disco skills were bad and fix my behavior accordingly instead of arguing. Another way that I feel like i’ve changed is that I advocate for my needs more. I think that when I was in shadow ridge or anywhere else in life I didn’t tell people what I needed when I needed it. Now I know that by telling people what I need it gets me farther than not telling them and struggling on my own. My experience at Crossroads has helped me with this because the teachers at crossroads are always asking me what is wrong or how can I help you. They also taught me to frontload my problems and tell them what I need to be successful at school.
Lastly, the final way that I think I’ve grown I use myself as an example when other people tell me there problems. I use my bad experiences as an example of what not to do. This has changed because before I never would have put myself in a situation where i would look bad. I’ve grown enough as a person to know that using my own experiences can help other people to avoid putting themselves in situations that aren’t good for them. I feel like being at crossroads has helped me with this because I learned that it’s okay to make mistakes and to not always get everything right. Other people at Crossroads had gone through the same stuff that I went through and I feel like it helped me a lot. In conclusion, Crossroads middle school has helped me grow as a person and continues to help me work through the things that I need to work through to continue to grow.