Lindsay McIntyre returned to the school 18 years after dropping out pregnant.
And now she has graduated as part of Lavender Hill High School’s Matric Class of 2017.
The single parent of two boys says she had to leave her matric dream behind in 1999, at the very same high school, when she fell pregnant with her eldest son, now 18.
Last year she finally returned, as a full-time student, even wearing a school uniform.
“The principal told me if I wanted to do the full year, I could not get special treatment and wear casual clothes, even if I was an adult,” she explains.
“I could not be a casual student either, I would have to be there every day on time, like the rest of them and on top of that, be an example as well.
“It was an adjustment, because I was a learner in uniform and wanted to be part of my class, but at the same time they are my son’s age and I had to stop myself from being a mother to them.”
Despite her fears, she blended in well.
“It was such a wonderful experience and now I know exactly what I want to do when I grow up! I want to be a counsellor or an Early Childhood Development teacher,” she says proudly.
Her journey to success has not been easy.
In 2016 she lost her job at a retail store and was home for six months trying to figure out how she was going to support her children.
She says her eldest son had failed twice at Steenberg High School and was demotivated, and part of her enrolling for matric was to set an example for him.
“He was concerned about what his friends would say, but I said I wanted to do more with my life. He had been struggling at school and I wanted him to see he could do it, too.
“I have now passed and he is so motivated. He is doing Grade 11 this year.”
The mom says coping with modern schooling was easier than she anticipated.
“The subjects may have changed, but the teachings are all still the same. I did not struggle because my classmates were very good, assisting me.
“It was cool and refreshing, learning things as an adult is different. Now, I want to know all the things I ignored, about languages and poetry. I liked English best.”
Lindsay’s subjects included Afrikaans (55%), English (60%), Maths Literacy (39%), Life Orientation (60%), Life Sciences (26%) and Tourism (65%).