• Natasha A

Finally winning the race

Have you ever had a goal that took you longer than you expected?

A goal that so many others in your life have achieved but for some reason, it seems impossible for you?

A goal that seemed so awesome at first, but not feels like a burden?

That’s how I felt about college. Community college at that.

I started attending classes officially 6 months after graduating high school. January 2014 to be exact. I didn’t know that this would be the gateway to the longest most anxiety-driven rollercoaster ride I had ever been on. 8th grade and all of high school already started to mold my perception of life into something I no longer cared to experience. Now college, a goal I thought about for so long, took off my rose-colored glass and changed out the lenses to something smog with random beams of light.

The beams of light were like trail markers letting me know I was heading in the right direction and that I was getting closer to my destination. The thing about being in the dark majority of the time though is that those beams of light feel far and few. The darkness starts to make you feel like your not even supposed to see the light or that it was all a facade.

That’s how I started feeling about college. The lights were markers letting me know “hey you’re going to enjoy this class”, “you’re almost 1/2 there”, or “you’re finished with the prereqs”. It was hard to believe when the dark was surrounding me saying “you failed a class about a language that you speak?”, “what’s the point of going to this class?”, “8 am class? but you get off of work at 7 am?”. So many negative thoughts and not enough positive.

So I stopped going.

When all you feel is failure, anxiety, and depression about something that you wanted so bad it causes you to wonder why you even wanted to do it.

I even started to have imposter syndrome. Like I didn’t deserve to get some of the grades I received (I got on the Dean's List twice, which was not a normal thing in my book of schooling) or that I was so far away from my goal (I stopped going for two years, not realizing that I was only 10 classes away from graduating).

I had to take the glasses off completely (and just put on my regular pair because ya girl is damn near blind in real life). What I saw was that in reality, things take time. It takes hard work to get to where I want to go, this is no longer the no child left behind act that America put in place. This is a school that you pay for and actually have to work even harder for and it’s worth something different to each individual person.

So Fall 2019, I went back and I took no more than three classes a semester and all evening classes so that I could still have a job.

December 24th, 2020, I looked at my degreeworks chart to see if the grades were officially put in and saw this

I’m not going to say I can’t believe it’s real because reality is what I make it. What I am going to say is that it’s been a long time coming, but I finally won the race. I hope I made my ancestors proud. ASÈ

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