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No one in my family has ever gone to college let alone graduated. So as I approached my graduation date in high school, all eyes were on me, and the pressure was immense. My family constantly raved how smart I was and that I would be the first to graduate college. Thus began my education at the California State University of Northridge.
Disappointment and Failure
I wish I could say that I put forth my best effort in my beginning years of college. However, that would be a lie. I was more concerned with partying, clubbing and having fun with my newfound freedom instead of studying like I should have been. I was an English major and being that it was my best subject, I should have been able to do well quickly. So after two years, I failed and dropped out. I was disappointed in myself, and so was my family.
New College, New Major
After several years of a sabbatical from college, I decided to return and major in Nursing. I attended Dixie State University in Utah and was ashamed to have to repeat courses and begin my generals anew. However, it was the price I had to pay for my own failures. I studied hard and applied myself religiously and excelled. My family was excited and supportive, and my ambition increased tenfold to graduate and begin a career in nursing.
Rejection then Acceptance
I had finally completed my generals and excitedly applied for the Nursing program. I was rejected almost immediately, and it was heartbreaking. Not only because all of my hard work had been for nothing, but because rejection in and of itself is a hard pill to swallow. I tightened my bootstraps and took more courses to increase my GPA and applied the following year again. My family knew I had been accepted before I did. It was the most significant day of my life!
Nursing School Equals Pure Torture
Two years of nursing school is unbelievably rigorous, challenging and downright exhausting. The amount of studying, case studies, homework, care plans and clinicals required are enough to drive anyone mad. However, a carefully measured two years is just enough to keep nursing students from going over the brink of insanity. Despite all of the exhaustion and near mental breakdowns, I graduated the nursing program and college with my family cheering uproariously.
An Accomplishment for All
I learned a lot about myself in both colleges during my years studying and upon graduation. My family had never been more proud of me, and quite honestly I was pretty proud of myself too. I passed my nursing boards with flying colors and began a long and fulfilling career as a nurse.
I learned my strengths and weaknesses in college, who I indeed was and who I could be. All I had to do was apply myself, hold myself accountable, use the support around me, and I was able to do what my family never could. College can be life changing if you allow it to be.