Being crippled in high school wasn’t really my plan, but ug, accidents sure do happen. In an instant, my dreams of having the “Sweet Valley High” esque experience went out the window, and instead I was in store for 4 years of feeling like an alien, which is kinda inevitable when you‘re the only quadriplegic among a sea of homogenous 600+ white kids.

I was hurt just before my freshmen year and was back in class after 3 months. I really shouldn’t have been back in school that soon in retrospect, but my mom and everyone else insisted, so there I was mid-November, trying to find myself again, trying to be a “regular” high school kid, and failing miserably.

One of the hardest things about having a spinal cord injury is not knowing who you are anymore because there are so many things, hobbies you had, interests you had, that you can’t do anymore. For me it was dancing, playing my clarinet, cheering, swimming and goofing off in the woods. All those things were very much “me.“ After my injury, I couldn’t do any of that anymore. So when I went back to high school I had no idea how to represent myself, where I fit in or which “group” I belonged to. Who I was stripped away.

And the first year back was definitely the worst. Everyone was a freshmen trying to fit in. No one was interested in being the “new wheelchair girl’s” friend, and