Saturday, May 11, 2013

I'm a college graduate and I have (positive) peer pressure to thank for that!

Let's be honest, I never thought I'd see there day where I was actually walking across the stage to receive my college diploma. To be honest, I never had any intentions of going to college. I remember when I was in high school I only took the ACT because all my friends were doing it and were all going out to lunch after. Like most teenagers, I was always in the mood to eat so I figured, what the hell, I'll pay x number of dollars to take some stupid test and hang out with my friends later. After weeks went by and I received my (pathetic) ACT results. Keep in mind, I really didn't apply myself much during the test (or high school, for that matter) and the final score proved that to be true: I got a 17. Whatever! I wasn't going to most I figured I would take a few classes at the local community college and then find or stick to some job I already had. Well, because I obsessively care what people think of me, I figured after high school graduation (which, by the way, you basically only need a pulse to graduate from high school these days) I would apply to the community college and enter the LPN nursing program and be on my way in less than two years. After all, I wasn't going to be the only loser of all my friends not going to college.
Well, long story short, nursing school was a hell of a lot more difficult that I ever thought it would be- I tip my hat to you ladies and gentlemen that were able to complete the program. During the time of taking nursing classes and my general studies, I failed out of two or three of my classes- yeah, I got a few F's. I simply had no desire or motivation to study or even be in class. All I wanted to do was go out with my friends and drink: the typical mindset of a late teen/early twenty-something girl. Since nursing was no longer an option, I decided to change my major to early childhood education (at the community college) with no real intention of going off to a four year university.
Fast forward about a year later. My mom got very sick with cancer and during a final beach vacation two weeks before she passed, she made me promise her that I would graduate from college. She said that she was so proud of me for going to school and she really wanted me to stick with it. I agreed, but really didn't give it much thought. I was in complete denial of her prognosis and simply made the promise to make her happy. After she passed away, my entire world came crashing down. I was only 21 at the time and I remember thinking all the things she would miss. She passed away October 27, 2009 and I applied to Troy in mid- 2010 for the Spring 2011 semester. As time went on, something happened. I became a mature, productive person that actually cared about my grades and my future. Yes, I wanted to keep a promise to my mother and graduate from college, but I also wanted that college degree for me. It really meant something for me to be the first member of my immediate family to go to college and graduate.
During my first semester at Troy, I really applied myself and worked my butt off! For the first time in my life, During my first semester at Troy and throughout my years there, I graced the doors of a library to study, got annoyed when students were disruptive in class, and was the nerd that sat front row center of all my classes. I did extra credit work to improve my score, even if it was by the tiniest little bit.  My first semester at Troy I got a 3.0 GPA for the Spring semester. I'd never had a 3.0 in my entire life. I continued to strive for better grades and eventually started making A's. During my two years at Troy, I only received one C and that was in a physics class I took. And, if I may be so bold, I am still just as proud of that C as I am of any A I even received.

Yesterday, May 10th, I walked across the stage of the Trojan Arena and became a Troy Alumni. I am so proud to be a Troy Trojan and for the person that I've become over the past two years. It's funny now to look back 6 years ago. I was such a mess and I think that if it wasn't for positive peer pressure, I might not have applied to college and be the person that I'm proud of. I am also thankful maturity kicked in and that I began to apply myself to prepare for a better future. I don't know what tomorrow brings (or the day after that), but I do know that I have the confidence and willpower to succeed.

Side Note: I don't want this post to come across like I only graduated from college because of peer pressure from friends and a promise from my mom. I graduated from college because with age comes wisdom and I wanted to better myself. While at Troy, I worked really hard, put in a lot of hours, and applied myself more than ever. It's just nice that caring about what people that is what gave me the push I needed to apply to the community college six years ago.
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