Before I came to Cookson Hills, I visited and took a tour. I thought it was amazing! I was excited about the horses and how small the school was. I have always been fascinated with horses – ever since I was a little girl. And I was drawn to the smaller school because I have social anxiety. My old school had over 800 students, which was really nerve-racking for me.
My life at home before I came here was pretty rough. I was making bad decisions and my grades were dropping fast. I can see now that my life was really heading downhill. Luckily, my mom took notice and found out about Cookson Hills. Now, here I am.
At first, I was extremely nervous to come, but my house sisters and brothers really made me feel at home. One day I remember we were all talking together and suddenly my brothers were very protective over me. That was something I really enjoyed. They were are really welcoming and we act like real siblings. We do get into fights, but we’re usually over it the next day.
The first 30 days can be pretty hard and here’s why. You don’t really have contact with your family at first as you adjust to your new life here. Also, you spend a lot of your first 30 days closeby your new houseparents. This can be a good and a bad thing. It made me feel safe and helped me understand things, but I also couldn’t go off with my friends very much. Honestly it wasn’t too bad though.
After I arrived, our family moved to one of the new houses. One thing I like about the new house is that I can sit outside and hang out with my friends. The new neighborhood is built like a circle so everyone is closeby.
Towards the end of my 30 days, my family came to visit me for our monthly visit/counseling session. I was super excited to see them! And during our counseling session, we even got to work with one of the horses, named Spirit. We had to build a wooden fence around our goal (the horse) while learning to work together. It was extremely fun.
So all in all, my first 30 days were exciting, fun, nerve-racking, and frustrating, but I wouldn’t have changed it at all.