As a senior in high school, I had to make a very important decision. Did I want to have a baby and finish school, or did I want to get married and quit school. Although abortion and adoption were the right choice for some people, I knew they were not the right choice for me. Regretfully, I chose to drop out of school, marriage and parenthood.
Many teenagers have been faced with the same decision, but how do they know which road is the right one to take? For each person the same choice may not be the right choice. In my case, I had seen friends pregnant in school who suffered criticism for deciding to have sex at such a young age and for not knowing how to protect themselves against pregnancy. What many teenagers do not realize is that some children do not have someone to talk to them about these things. I knew nothing about sex or protection and found myself in a position with someone who knew nothing about those things either. I decided that I did not want to place myself in the position to be criticized by these things and quit school.
Quitting school was a very hard decision for me to make. It forced me to decide what I was going to do with my life once the baby came. Since I took cosmetology classes at the technical school for two years while I was in high school, I decided to enroll in a local beauty school to finish the hours I needed to take the board exam. I went the entire time I was pregnant and graduated by the time the baby was four months old. I passed my board examination and received my license by the time she was six months old. I worked as a beautician for three years and made a decent living. I soon realized I did not want to be a beautician for the rest of my life.
Do I regret the decision I made? To answer that, I would have to say that I do regret the decision to drop out of school but have never once regretted having the baby. It was not easy being married and a parent at the age of seventeen. We were both too young for the responsibilities we faced. I worked to support us, went to beauty school, and dealt with pregnancy while he finished high school. There were times I felt like all the responsibility had been placed on me, which made me bitter and caused problems with our marriage.
I knew our marriage was over by the time our daughter was four years old so we agreed to get a divorce. I found out I was pregnant during our separation and quickly decided that I would not settle on marriage for that reason again. There are times that I feel like I should have tried harder to make things work, but I think we would have been unhappy. I would not want to give my children that kind of life. To this day, I think I made the right decision because our life is good and is getting better everyday.
Many positive things have come from my decision such as discovering the things that are most important to me. I want to make a good life and provide my children with the best possible choices. I have also learned that I do not want people to remember me only because I got pregnant in high school and dropped out. These thoughts and feeling have pushed me to get my GED, enroll in college, and to pursue a career in education. I have learned that children are important to me and I want to make a difference in their life. I want my children to know the decisions that they will have to face someday, to know which decisions are the right ones to make, and to know the consequences of the things they may choose to do. I do not think I would have these feelings so strongly if I had chosen a different road. Who knows what I might be doing now? Do the things that have happened mean I made the right or wrong decision? Was there even a right or wrong decision to make?
I believe you have to do the best you can with the decisions you make regardless of whether they are the right ones or the wrong ones. You have to take responsibility for those decisions and do the right thing for the people involved. You should never feel sorry for yourself and the position you might find yourself. It does no good to punish yourself or those around you, just take each one as a lesson in life and do the best with it that you can.