An angry teacher yells, “Get out!” She’s standing with her arms raised and spread wide. Her small fists balled up with frustration. The teacher’s head is oversized, exaggerated to reflect how angry she is. Like her skull is filling with fury and is about to explode. Her eyes are gaping, pupils dilated, while her mouth is fixed in a raging grimace.

A powerful life lesson from an expelled high school student

“It’s impossible to pass the year. You’re failing 80% of your classes.”

The principal looks up from her computer. 

“Are you paying attention?” Eyes narrow, “Do you even care?” 

He isn’t. He doesn’t.

“You know what?! Get out of my school!” 

He’s expelled. He’s indifferent.

His parents are furious and have him enrolled at a new school. Where he’s friendless in an unfamiliar place. 

It lasts less than two weeks. 

But reality sets it. Continue the path of a high school dropout. Or smarten the fuck up, take ownership.

He chooses the latter.

That creative thing, with words and strings

He decides to leave the city, escape its distractions. 

He pleads his case to win over his parents. And they let him stay with his aunt and uncle in the country.

It’s secluded. 

But he’s not alone. He lives with two of his cousins.

One taught him to play guitar a few years earlier. The pair write songs daily and jam endlessly, play at school events and parties. He flourishes:

  • Aces his courses
  • Graduates with honours 
  • And builds his own guitar

It takes nearly two years to finish high school after being expelled. But he does it. And he gains much more than a diploma. 

A glimpse of a future career

All that loud noise, playing and writing music with his cousin? It was more than just rock and roll.

He didn’t realize it, but he was honing his skills as a writer. Finding his voice, crafting his style. 

And that’s when he learned how fulfilling creative acts can be. 

How fun it is to create—to have an idea and the ability to bring it to life.  

He was clueless about his future at that point. But writing and creativity had taken charge.

A new place to call home

That guitar he built? It’s thanks to a course he took during his last semester of high school. 

In Kingston, where he goes to college. Where he learns about advertising and marketing—and copywriting.

Where he finds connections, opportunities, and partnerships. From one to another to his home, his career, and his better half.

The courage to change

The whole experience? It taught him that growth is a byproduct of failure (and fear).

That’s how life tests you. How it teaches you—about resilience, choices, and change. And how failing builds courage.

The courage to try again. To keep building.

If an expelled high school student can do it. So can you.

There are three pencils, each with a broken tip.

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