We got our schedules for the upcoming school year in the mail back in May. I opened the envelope and frowned.

“They gave me computer programming instead of chemistry,” I told my parents. Then I added: “And I’m going to fix that.”

We’re allowed to change our schedules to a certain extent, but you have to get your request in early. I went to see my counselor the next day and successfully argued for the changes I wanted: an advanced chemistry class, to switch to the PE class my friends are in, and one free period. I came home relieved and happy, clutching the printout of my new schedule like I was afraid someone would snatch it away.

Fast-forward to last week, when an new copy of my schedule arrived in the mail. Imagine my horror upon discovering that all the changes I had made had been reversed! Within minutes, I had composed a hopeful message to the school administration, hit send, and waited.

After several days with no response, I reread the letter that came with my schedule. It said they wouldn’t respond to emails about schedule changes.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I moaned to my parents. “I did everything they asked us to. There’s no way they could have re-created my original schedule after the changes I made.”

“It sounds like your counselor didn’t save the changes he made,” said my mom.

I emailed my counselor to ask what had happened. Later that very same day, I got a call from a teacher who told me that there had indeed been a computer glitch, and that they would do their best to switch everything back. There was one problem, though: The chemistry class I wanted was already full.

I wasn’t ready to give up. This is my junior year: the year of standardized tests and rigorous workloads and getting to show colleges what you can do. The year when everything counts. Luckily, that chem class is being taught by the guy I had for science last year. I wrote one last, desperate email:

“I’ve been pulled out of your chemistry class,” I explained. I asked if there was any way he could squeeze in one more student. “If that’s impossible,” I wrote, “do you have any recommendations for reputable online chemistry courses?”

The response came within minutes. He promised to speak to the school counselors about the issue, and the next day a PDF was sitting in my inbox. It was my schedule for the fall semester, exactly how I had wanted it.

I know this may seem like the most banal story ever: There was a problem, I notified someone, the problem was fixed. But the moral of the story is important to me: Don’t give up. I wouldn’t have gotten the classes I wanted if I hadn’t kept emailing everyone. I often talk myself out of chasing things like this. This experience was a useful reminder that persistence really works. ♦