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The most difficult academic hardship I have ever overcame happened to me my senior year of high school. School has always been enjoyable for me, I was always eager to learn. Placed in accelerated programs at a young age, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the challenges. Eventually, it became time to think about colleges, and I began the application process. I applied to schools and after much thought, I made the decision to attend The University Of Illinois. The University Of Illinois was ranked as one of the top fifty universities in the country and I was so ecstatic to be headed there to continue my education. Then, on May 6, I was on my way home when we drove past a car accident. An entire block was inaccessible and covered with police cars and ambulances. I returned home, and received a phone call informing me my best friend Danielle was in one of the vehicles involved. That was when everything changed.

 I quickly made my way to the hospital my best friend was taken to, and waited to hear any news. Eventually, the doctors came out and informed us that Danielle had passed away, it felt like my world was crumbling around me. When I returned to school the following day, I broke down. I could not enter that building without thinking about Danielle and what had happened. I slowly began going to school less and less, even though I had only a little over one month to go before graduation. Then, during the last week of school I got a call from my dean, he told me that because of my recent absences I had failed gym, due to participation points, and I was not going to graduate on time. After this happened, the University of Illinois rescinded my acceptance. I was not allowed to graduate with my class and I was not going to be going to college in the fall. All of this happening so suddenly after my best friends death sent me deeper into sadness. The thought that I would not graduate high school after all of the hard work for so many years was unreal to me. I spent almost a year sulking before I decided I could not come so close to being so successful and then fail.

I had to figure out what I could do, how I could get my high school diploma and continue my education. I met with an academic counselor and he told me all of my options. Because I had only failed gym, I was able to take a health class at a local community college that would equal the credit that I was missing. After finishing up the class I was able to receive a diploma from my own high school, although I will always be sad that I never got to walk in graduation with all of my classmates and friends.

This was the most difficult academic problem I have ever had to overcome, more so than any exam or paper I had to write, because this problem was mental. I had to stand up and push to do what I knew I was capable of doing, even though it was hard for me to get out of bed. To this day I think about Danielle, and where she would be now and if she would be in college and how unfair it was that all of that was taken away from her at such a young age. Which is why I am now choosing to go back to school, because she did not have the chance, and I do.

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