In my previous schools I was always bullied and picked on. When we finally found Interhigh my self esteem was rock bottom and I was scared of people. I was also very shy which was why it was a struggle for me to talk in class and interact with my classmates. Over the course of my first year in Interhigh I had started to regain my confidence as well as my self esteem. My teachers were patient and my classmates were all very friendly. Being in on an online school was something new for me, it was also very intense. The classes are very focused on the lesson and you have to have discipline to do the work that is required of you.
The support given by the school helps a lot. We have extra classes if we wish as well as several self study groups. Every teacher is there if you have questions and the head office is ready to help if there are any problems. Special needs kids also have a lot more support than in many normal schools. We have a Dyslexic support group as well as Asperger’s support group; we have different clubs like chess and creative writing. These are all just a few examples of how we interact with each other. The school is very open with religion. Bullying is absolutely not tolerated. This made it all easier to come out of my shell and become more confident and no longer people shy, I also started to trust people more.
I am currently in year 12, and I started in year 7. Since coming to Interhigh I felt as if I could really enjoy my education, and the school is also flexible enough that you can go at your own pace. I skipped a year because I felt as if I was not challenged enough and after discussing it with the school I was placed in year 10. It was stressful at the beginning but I was also happy to be having a challenge. The main argument on why “normal” schooling is better than online schooling is that you have both your social interactions and your education developed, while in online schooling your social skills remain undeveloped so to speak. On that point I can understand that, however there are many ways to make up for that if you go to an online school. Going out and having activities that involve people is another way to gain your social skills, school isn’t the only way to learn social skills, it is just one of the easiest ways to do so. While it is nice to see your friends face to face and interact more, on online schooling it is easier to concentrate on your studies and also very flexible with when you are travelling.
This year I opened my own company called “Pursuit for Sanyu”, the school has been very supportive of me and very encouraging. 4 years ago I would have never thought I would be in this position, I was in a tough spot at the time, but somehow I made it. Being 16 and starting my own company while still in school is stressful at times, but Interhigh has made it possible for me to have a flexible timetable where I can concentrate on school and still have enough time to work on my company.