Senior Column


Photo courtesy of Devin Toma.

Devin Toma, Staff Writer

Life has its up and downs and everyone goes through hard times. Surprisingly, hard times are not always the worst thing. Times like this have taught me that when going through a hard time in my life, I must learn from it and do something so it won’t happen again. I have had many of these moments, some worse than others.

The moment I had to overcome in my life, which was the most challenging, was my fight with my weight. This was by far the most time consuming and hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Before I decided to lose weight, it was a rough time for me. My grades were declining, I had over 200 absences in school, and I was suffering from chronic headaches. I also was not applying myself on  anything. None of my teachers ever had a problem with me because I would always do what I was supposed to do in school. I just wouldn’t follow through with homework or on tests. I was not doing the best I could, but I didn’t have the confidence or determination at that time.

The first two years of high school were not the best. Freshman year was a lot better than sophomore year, which  was quite possibly the worst year of my life. Nothing was going right for me. I was struggling in school more than ever. Even though I’ve never been the the best student grade wise, I have always been a respectful kid and made sure to follow the rules. This mindset changed during this time. I skipped class often and went out with my other friends who also decided to skip class. They influenced me to do this, and it was a bad decision. I did get caught once doing this, and I ended up getting a three day detention. That was one of the most boring things I’ve ever had to experience. However, it taught me the lesson I needed to learn. It taught me that there are consequences to every action that I make.   

Headaches are the worst thing to have. I’ve had chronic headaches since seventh grade. Five years of dealing with headaches everyday, and I still don’t know what is causing them. Some days are worse than others, but I just have to stay positive and hope it goes away. It is very degrading having them everyday. I’ve basically become immune to the pain at times. Although this is difficult, I needed to get used to functioning with them. The headaches definitely took a toll on my grades and also my ability to go through the day without struggling. It affected my ability to go to the gym regularly, remember information for tests and go out and hang out with people. My life has gotten a lot better since I lost weight, including my headaches.

The thing that I was not doing at all was applying myself. It was a hard thing to do at the time. I just felt that because of my weight, I wasn’t able to do the same things that other people do. I just thought that nobody liked me. I was very insecure, so that may not be true, but it seemed like it at the time. Being insecure is the worst thing ever because it’s a constant battle back and forth with yourself. I would look in the mirror and I would be disappointed. I did not like what I saw. I needed to change it. This time I would stick with it and I would follow through with everything. I wanted to see a change, but I knew it was going to be hard to start out with. I did everything I could. I started going to the gym five days a week. Sometimes even twice a day. I started eating healthier and eating less. All of this led to me losing 50 pounds. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. It made life better. It made me more confident and it made me want to go out and do more.

The more weight I lost, the more confident I became. I was starting to feel like I could do anything now. I started going out more, talking to more people and doing better in school. This is how life should feel. You should be happy and enjoying it. I became more and more confident, and this confidence led me to start talking to a girl. I knew that I wanted to date her, and I was determined to get that to happen. It did happen. It has been six months, and I’ve grown even more with the help, support, and motivation from her.

In the end, I realized that life can knock you down and wreck you. I knew I was the one who had to do something in order to change that. Nobody can tell me I can’t do something. I’m capable of doing absolutely everything. All it takes is hard work and dedication and with that comes happiness and a better life.