My mom always told me I was going to college.
No matter if I had to kick, cry and scream my way through the process, I was going to college. Growing up in a multi-cultured, indigenous household, I never once thought how all odds were against me. No one in my immediate family received a four year college degree. So when it came to applying for colleges, I could not look to my parents or grandparents for help. Everything was done through my own research and asking my school counselors. Even then, I was completely confused on what would make me a good candidate in each college. What would make me stand out? I then began to focus on my story.
Personal statements hold a great importance to represent yourself in the admissions process. As I wrote my story I started to cry. Not because of the deep trauma I have had to build myself up from, but the trauma my family has felt through each generation. I admit, the women in my family are some of the strongest women I know. They are the reason I have a backbone and do not hide behind corners anymore. When I write my story, whether through blog posts or poetry, I find myself looking back at obstacles and things that could have prevented me from going to college.
I knew I was smart. I worked my butt off all throughout school, despite some traumatic events. When everything around me seemed to be out of control and falling apart, I chose to focus on school. School was the only thing in my control. If I failed a test, that was on me. If I got 100%, that was because I studied. I did not blame my family for having bad grades or not working hard enough. I could blame them. I could blame a lot of things on those who have caused my PTSD and anxiety, but what is the point? These situations make me stronger. No one whose had an easy life ever has an interesting story to tell.
Now that I am in college, the pressure has intensified. Grandma and Papa are so proud of me. They tell everyone around them that I am a college girl and going to get my degree. But when I look around, it truly is only me. I cannot call up a family member and tell them, "Hey how did you deal with this in your 3rd year of college?" My peers are great people to talk to but nothing beats asking a family member about this.
Sometimes, I just want to drop out or pause my courses for a little while. When I bring that up, it is as if the world has been set on fire. Being in college can appear easy from the outside looking in. University looks so easy and stress-free if you have never attended. College is a whole new world from high school. The amount of independence does not compare to high school. No one is going to check up on you every single minute, you have to check up on yourself. Life happens too. My grandma passed away the second quarter of my Freshman year, and that broke me. I wanted to drop out right then and there. I had two midterms that week. And guess what I did? Two days after my grandma passed, myself and two blue books were in class, ready to take two exams. Of course, I cried my eyes out in the bathroom after the exams. That year hurt so bad. Even now, I still remember that type of pain. It just doesn't go away, but it does get better though.
Stay strong. Because it does indeed get better.
You are climbing mountains just attending college. Be proud of where you have come from and who you are becoming. I know your ancestors are so proud. I am proud of you.