My decision to go to college was not made easily.
I was working full time, making decent money for someone fresh out of high school. At first, I had no desire to pursue a higher education. I was making money, paying my bills, buying a ton of things I didn't need. But like life goes, the routine became tiring. Serving people who treated me like shit became old quickly. I wasn't fulfilling any desire anymore. If I had to work in food or retail for the rest of my life, I would go insane. It was time for a change, and a big one at that.
I enrolled in my local community college for general studies. It was a mockery to a lot of pretentious assholes, but at least I was doing something with my life.Though I did well, the classes were boring and I wasn't taking anything out of them.
I had two choices.
Drop out and become a slave to the retail world, or pick a major and stick with it until I was able to graduate.
But what was I going to do for the rest of my life? I was 19, clueless, and untalented. I knew how to write, but could I actually make a career out of that? I figured I would at least try. If I failed, then at least I made the attempt. I was fortunate enough to receive a generous amount of financial aid, it almost seemed silly not to.
With a click of a mouse, I was enrolled into journalism. The moment I made that decision, it almost seemed like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. For once, I had something; something I could call mine.
The moment I stepped into my mass communications class, I felt welcomed. I was no longer a number like I was in my general studies courses. He wanted me there; to learn and to be passionate about the course and about my major.
It wasn't just mass communications.
It was learning about life, learning about myself, and absorbing the world around me. It was about finding out who I am meant to be, even if it's just a little bit, before I change again.
Most professors don't bat an eye about a student or their lives. But he genuinely cared, believed in, and encouraged not just me but every single one of his students. We are all important and we all have something to offer to the world. He saw that potential in us, even when we didn't.
When he learned of my father's passing, he reached out and empathized with me. He barely knew me, but he was able to get to know me through my work and content. He always took the time out of his busy schedule to read my work and send me an email responding to it.
It's very rare to meet a person, never mind a teacher, that impacts you in a way that this man impacted me.
His soul is one that cannot be described in just a few sentences. The lives he has touched says a lot more than words ever could.
I am more than blessed to have had this man believe in me when I wanted to give up writing. It's an honor that I am a part of the family that is housed in Building 12.
If I had known that this experience would have been as positive as it has been, I would have enrolled sooner. I am grateful for the experiences and lessons I have learned not only by him, but by several other professors in that building.
I have taken away much more in community college than any of my fellow students in four-year universities, I am sure of it.
Thank you for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself.