Gaining Confidence for Smashing Success
Fusion has changed me from an insecure and anxious person with a dark future to someone who is able to stand up for himself. I never used to reach out for help, but now I am able to self-advocate. Read about my journey to Fusion below.
By Travis L.
Fusion Sugar Land
Started in 11th grade, now a graduate
Travis needed a less competitive environment to overcome his test anxiety, which was keeping him from going to school at all. Now, he is more equipped to keep his anxiety and depression under control.
School and Sickness
School was a breeze for me until high school. In junior high, I made straight A’s without trying, with the only time that I worked on homework being on the bus. When I got home, I would get on my computer and start playing video games without a worry in mind. I was looking forward to the freedoms that high school would bring in the next years, and oh my, I had no idea what I was in for.
My freshman year started out all right. I still got almost all A’s, but I did have to put in a lot more work. I would get home around 3 pm, then do homework until around 5 or 6 pm. When semester finals were on the horizon, I got sick. Very sick. I was in the ER three times, and then I was in the hospital for two days. The tests said that I had c-diff. It is a disease where the bad bacteria in your stomach pretty much takes over. It’s weird to get c-diff if you aren’t on antibiotics as that is what wipes out the good bacteria that is supposed to fight off the bad stuff.
Once the doctors said that I should have been better, I didn’t feel better. I was still throwing up multiple times a day. This was actually because of anxiety, and I started to get depressed because I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. After about a month of absences from school, I made it back, and I was greeted by the mountains of work that had accumulated. The thought of all the exams that I had missed dragged me down like an anchor.
Somehow, I was able to pull my way through. I was working every day after school until I was ready to go to bed. And by March, I was all caught up. The rest of my freshman year went fine. I felt very successful for what I had overcome. Little did I know that the anxiety and depression was coming back again, only this time stronger.
Test Anxiety and Spiraling
My sophomore year was not easy for me. Getting back from a nice summer break, I did not want to start doing work again. I started fairly sloppily, with mostly B’s. Then to add to the problems, my best friend that I had made since we had moved here to Houston was sent away by his parents to boarding school. They thought his B’s and C’s weren’t good enough, even though he was trying hard. This frustrated me because I couldn’t understand their thinking.
In my Algebra 2 class, I noticed that after the first few tests, I couldn’t seem to pass anymore. My dad would help me study a week before the test, but I would still do awful. My dad said I knew the material, and he thought it was performance anxiety. I started to think about it, and my school’s environment was quite competitive. They pressured everyone to be in the top 10%, which is statistically impossible. I could see his point, but I had my doubts.
Before my next math test, I went into the counselor’s office to see if I could get ready there. I was thinking about the other tests, how hard I studied, and how poorly I did, and this gave me so much anxiety that I couldn’t make it to class. These thoughts spiraled out of control, so much that my parents could physically not get me to school. I had missed so much school that it was impossible to catch up, and I was so anxious that I could barely make it inside the school building. This is when my parents pulled me out, and my mom (who has a teaching degree) decided to homeschool me for the rest of that year.
My homeschooling experience was OK, but my mom and I decided it was too taxing on our relationship. With this in mind, we found a private school that we hoped would better prepare me for later in life.
At the private school, I managed to barely pass the first semester with countless missing assignments and failing test grades because of my severe anxiety and depression. When the second semester started, I was in such a bad place with my emotions that I basically failed out. This made me feel as though there was no hope for my future, and I questioned whether I would graduate high school or not.
Seeking help, my parents and I reached out to an educational consultant and scheduled a meeting. She thought that the only thing that would work was going away to a boarding school, but she mentioned Fusion Academy as an alternative.
After talking with my parents, we decided that we would take the least disruptive path forward and see how it went. We reached out to Fusion and scheduled a visit. When we came into Fusion and talked to the Head of School, it was easy to see that everyone truly cared about my situation and how I was feeling. I felt comfortable, and like I could be successful.
The more relaxed environment was easy to see, and the fact that Fusion was more about learning than competition sealed the deal. Once I started, the one-on-one classroom gave me a chance to find the gaps in my knowledge that had developed from switching schools, and my teachers filled in the missing pieces. The fact that the curriculum is more adaptable to each student made learning more fun to me. I was able to do more real-life examples, heightening my interest in learning.
I went from not knowing if I would graduate high school to getting accepted to Iowa State’s Engineering program. As I get closer to high school graduation, I get more and more confident in my abilities, and although my anxiety and depression aren’t completely gone, I am able to keep them under control now. I would say my Fusion journey has been a smashing success.
Fusion has changed me from an insecure and anxious person with a dark future to someone who is able to stand up for himself. I never used to reach out for help, but now I am able to self-advocate. Everyone at Fusion is willing to offer a helping hand, and offer up new ideas on how to resolve my issues.
of Fusion students are likely to ask questions or offer thoughts in class.
of Fusion students feel they are getting the academic support they need to be successful.