I graduated from high school with two certifications and a diploma under my belt, but no roof over my head. In 2013, just months before I was to graduate my family and I were evicted from my childhood home. I would spend the next few months before my freshmen year college going from couch to couch until officially graduating from high school and then to a shelter. At this point I had to begin to fight for the future I so badly wanted and Ms. Dudek’s role would grow exponentially in my eyes. Looking back now, I understand that I had gone into complete survival mode at that point. People who know my story personally have told me that they don’t see how I did or hold some type of admiration for how I handled myself, but as the person who actually went through, I never understood why I was so regarded in that way.
At my current point in time, I still don’t see my accomplishments as that grand. I often feel like I did/do what millions of other people have done. I put myself and my future ahead of a present unpleasant circumstance.
I can’t say that I fully appreciated the purpose and intent of my high school years, of how what I would achieve or not achieve there would set the course for a lot of other things in my life. If there is one thing I wish I could change its how I approached academics, I would apply myself more and study harder. Conversations with an emphasis on GPA and class rank and their role in higher education weren’t really explained to me. Looking at my grades individually they were decent enough especially for not really applying myself. I was never a “gifted and talented” student, but I had natural abilities in writing and reading, plus I was good at memorization. Where I struggled was in finding value in subjects that didn’t fit my prerogative, this is something that I still struggle with.
This struggle followed me to Baylor University. My senior year I only applied to Southern Methodist University and then Baylor when I received an e-mail advertising a free application without an essay requirement. I was waitlisted at SMU and accepted to Baylor, so I fatefully headed to Baylor in the fall. I was finally almost a nurse! Majoring in pre-nursing, I thought that all of my luck was changing and that my time in college would be like Elle Woods’ in Legally Blonde. I would learn that wouldn’t be the case pretty early on.