I begged my Mom to let me go to high school when I was 14. She was shocked by my request. How could I fail to appreciate all the time they had invested in homeschooling me, she told me how the school system was filled with evil, and how easy it was for a young girl to get taken advantage of. She promised that if I worked hard to finish my schoolwork, I would be able to go to college anyways, so why bother wasting my time in high school? I gave up.
At the age of almost 16, I was allowed to go to a small “homeschool” college that was holding it’s first ever summer camp for teens. The camp had strict rules about dress code and interaction with the opposite sex, and it was supposed to be very academic. I was squeezed into the Journalism Camp at the last moment. I was gone for one week and I loved it! I wrote and wrote, and attended every class. The articles I wrote were approved and put into the miniature “newpaper” that each group put together.
I made a few friends. And since this was still in our pre-church attendance days, I was thrilled to attend the nightly “chapel” time and sing praise songs that I had never heard before. (We were only allowed to listen to instrumental music at home) Those songs fed me so much, I remember I actually went up to the worship leader the last night and asked if I could write down a few of the songs so I would remember the words. They were songs like “In Christ Alone”, and a slower version of “I want to know you”.
I went home full of dreams, showing my parents my writing and talking the advice my teachers had given about getting into the door for journalism. It was no use. My parents continued to criticize my writing like they always had. I was reminded that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom someday, so there was no point in my getting into journalism when I would only have to quit at some point. I was depressed, I pleaded with my dad for alternatives, I promised that I would not make this into a career, I would just explore writing further and see what I could learn from it, maybe I would even write books from home someday! I brought him newspaper clippings of job offers for part-time columnists for our local paper and free workshops offered in our area. The answer didn’t change. Eventually, I gave up.
I came up with endless schedules and plans to complete all of my schoolwork, but it was never enough. I couldn’t seem to make any progress. I was working hard around the house, and it was difficult to keep up with any schoolwork, much less complete the list that my Dad had put together. The math and science were way over my head, my homeschooling had not included any formal science or geography, and we had never managed to get past ancient history and what I now realize was some majorly revised American history.
I became more and more depressed. I was never going to get out of there. College was not going to happen,
I just wasn’t smart enough.