When one door shuts, another one opens. Before I officially shut the door on my time spent in community college, I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned, some musings if you will. Before I began my journey into college, I was sitting at home wasn’t precious time. It didn’t seem so precious to me at the time due to the fact I was battling undiscovered depression. I knew something was wrong with me, but depression hadn’t popped into my mind.
My mother nagged me into attending college and it was what I needed, I just didn’t realize it at the time. I attended orientation and hated every second of it. I wasn’t the social type and wanted to be left alone. Instead, I was asked many questions by students in leadership roles, needless to say, I was agitated. I was definitely in the wrong frame of mind to be attending college. However, the first year was a breeze! I completed mindless work like a champ.
My real problem was pinning down what career path I wanted to journey down. I struggled with this because there were a lot of negative voices replaying in my head. The voices I heard were from family, especially my grandmother. She’s the most negative person I know! So, trying to block out, “you’re never going to be nothing”,”you’re stupid,” spiritual, psychological and physical abuse, it was tough to iron out my path.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was just second guessing myself. There also was the fact that my career choice doesn’t pay a lot of money, so says the naysayers and Debbie Downers. Once I carved my path in stone, I fought like crazy to prove to myself that I could and would achieve my goals, even if family gives their two cents.
Once I dug myself out of depression; it took a year and a half, a lot began to change, I began to change, grow and flourish. I became a teachers assistant, I even taught a class on the fly, which was something I never thought I could do. Not began I didn’t have knowledge to share to my fellow classmates, but because public speaking was a terrible fear of mine. Many opportunities like this cropped up and as soon as I stopped running from it, the better I got. I’m not 100% over the fear, though it’s all in my head, I still force myself to confront my fear and it’s lessened more and more.
As small as this is, I also taught College Algebra, Spanish and Chemistry various semesters in a small study group. One never knows they truly understand something until they teach it themselves. I somehow ended up in the role of a leader when I wasn’t looking for it. Students looked to me for guidance, some older some younger.
One thing college has taught me is I needed to have a backbone, not that I didn’t have it already, but stand on your beliefs no matter if the professor agrees or not. What I would like to pass on to the young and the aging is to stand alone. I’m not saying be anti-social, but when one stands alone, you certainly find out if you have an identity of your own or if you blend in with the crowd.
I had my own identity before I started college, now that I’ve graduated, I’m more well rounded in my thoughts, not necessarily because of school but while in school life happened. School only takes up a small fraction of your academic life. Anything in life can be applied to school, a job, a relationship. Somehow we’re supposed to make these things work in tandem.
I’ve been blessed to have some amazing professors. I’m closer to some more than others and I would take back any hardships that made up my academic life, nor would I take back anything life dealt to me. As I head to University, I’m going in well prepared, though challenges await me. Surprisingly enough, I’m not afraid. I am sad that I would be able to spend as much time with certain professors as I like, but that’s life. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me, from the extremely arrogant to those who opened up their office’s to me anytime I wanted to stop by. They were definitely patient with me and all my hilarious stories I’d treat them to.
So, I hope discouraged students stick it out, discouragement doesn’t last forever. College is what you make of it. Get to know your professors, they really can be your safety net. Thankfully this chapter is closed and I hope I’ve made professor’s proud! This is just the beginning. Wait and see what becomes of me.