Senior column: Elena Sherwood

I+wanted+the+world+to+change+for+me.+I+craved+to+fit+in%2C+to+not+be+what+people+call+%E2%80%9Cdifferent.%E2%80%9D

De Lila Green

I wanted the world to change for me. I craved to fit in, to not be what people call “different.”

College: Belmont University 

Major: Hospitality Management

I wanted the world to change for me. I craved to fit in, to not be what people call “different.” I didn’t want to admit I had a learning disability because I thought that it would not only change how I saw myself but how others would perceive me, too. I thought less of myself because my friends didn’t struggle with their memory, spelling, reading, math, history and pretty much anything that had to do with school. 

Going to a tutor for my speech and getting papers back littered with red ink crushed my confidence. Little did I know they were only trying to help me. Attempting to show me that I can learn in a unique way, even though I wanted to learn the same as everyone else. 

I struggled with learning a foreign language because of my dyslexia and so, I wanted to learn a visual language instead. That’s when I decided to embrace being “quirky,” take initiative and learn American Sign Language (ASL). To my surprise, sticking my neck out for myself and being independent was just what I needed. Since ASL is not offered at KHS, I did some research and found an online class that would count for my foreign language credit. 

That’s when I decided to embrace being “quirky,” take initiative and learn American Sign Language (ASL).”

While signing at school and teaching my friends ASL highlights my differences from others, it has helped me grow into who I am today.

I got to prove not only to others, but also to myself, that my learning disability doesn’t define who I am as a person. It has helped build me into who I am today and because of that I wouldn’t change that for the world. I felt that my disability was laughing in my face for the longest time. The tables have now turned as I thrive more than I ever thought was possible. Struggling with dyslexia, learning ASL and teaching it to others has led me to live by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Now, I’m being that change.