As you know, I had moved to the US to go to college. But in order to do that, I had to get my American diploma, since German diplomas were not recognized. In my case though, I didn't have a German diploma. I hate to admit this, but I failed my "senior year" in Germany. Because of moving overseas and learning the language in school, I was forced to repeat a few years for reasons none other than not being as advanced in the German language as my fellow classmates.
However, this made school very difficult for me emotionally, since I was in class with kids who were several years younger than me. It was frustrating and while I got along with everyone fine and had a nice group of friends, I felt very out of place. And honestly, I felt stupid, especially when not doing as well in school as my classmates, who were so much younger than me. Watching my friends in the US graduate years before me and go off to college was very difficult for me as well. Since my parents were in the middle of a divorce and I was dealing with a lot of emotional issues, school became my absolute last priority. I was paralyzed by the fear of failing.
By 10th grade, which is basically "senior year" at the particular school I attended, I was a complete mess. I missed so many days of school, that my friends didn't ever expect me to show up for class. I never did homework. I came into the classroom, usually about 20 minutes late, put my head down on my desk and napped. My teachers were completely fed up with me and quite frankly, I didn't give a crap about anything or anybody anymore. I hated my life and I felt I had no purpose what so ever.
Even though my poor choices led to me failing 10th grade and not graduating, I was heartbroken "walking" with my classmates to receive my "diploma", which was basically a folder with a report card inside it, telling me I'd have to repeat. Around this time, my mom told me that my aunt and uncle had made the offer for me to go and live with them in the US to go to college. I thought it would be a great opportunity, but I didn't want to leave my family or my friends.
A few weeks later, after taking a good hard look at my life, I decided right away I was moving. In three weeks. So I packed my bags, said goodbye to my friends and left. My life made a complete 180 right then and there. I went to the community college and signed up to take my GED a month after I arrived in the US. After failing over and over again for so many years, I passed that GED with honors on the first try. I could not have been more proud of myself when I received my diploma. The boost of confidence it gave me was exactly what I needed to start college.