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An Open Letter to the People Who Told Me I Wouldn’t Succeed

Dear everyone who told me I wouldn’t succeed (specifically my high school guidance counselors),

You treated me like I wasn’t capable of anything. But I’m capable of so much more than you thought.

I spent four years dreading those quarterly meetings I was forced to attend, where I was treated like some sort of foreign species, just because I have a minor learning disability in math. 

I received good grades in every other subject, I always did my work, and my teachers liked me but apparently that wasn’t enough. Sure, the special treatment and extra time on tests were helpful, but I don’t think that makes up for the fact that you had no hope in me.

You even told me I wouldn’t be able to attend a four-year university after high school because of the higher-level math and science courses required. 

Instead, I was told to go to community college or head straight to work. It sucked hearing that while all of my friends were busy looking at schools all across the country. 

But you didn’t encourage me to try applying anyways. I did it on my own… and got in. 

My mom reminded me that anything could happen, giving me the hope that you didn’t. Although she probably thinks I could’ve gotten into Harvard. 

Now, I’m about to graduate from Montclair State University. It’s been a crazy journey, but no one here has ever doubted my capabilities like you did. I was pretty close to not even wanting to go to college, but I’m glad I took the chance. I like to think that I’m pretty successful where I’m at right now. 

I feel bad for anyone who feels discouraged, incapable or flawed because of a learning disability. I want them to know it won’t affect their lives as much as you tell them it will. High school is such an influential time in teen’s lives, so you should encourage them instead of giving up on them. 

I wish you had hope in me back then, because it may have been exactly what I needed.  

But, maybe it motivated me to prove you wrong.

– Amina


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Amina is currently a senior at Montclair State University studying communication and journalism. She has a passion for writing, digital media and creating content. When she's not writing, you can probably find her catching up on current events, trying new fitness classes or searching for the next best restaurant. You can view more of her work at aminalake.com.
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