I want to personally dedicate this post to all those students, hopefuls, and dreamers out there. You my friends, you are the catalyst of change in society.
Growing up largely disadvantaged, mainly through age 12 through 21, I know a thing or two about struggling.
I know about looking for change between the crevice of your sofa to fill your body with nourishment.
I know about having to decide between paying the rent, or paying to fix the alternator to get you to work that pays the rent to begin with.
I know about asking your light and water company for extensions on your bills.
I know about litigating with your landlord for an extension.
And when you're in college, it becomes more complicated.
Studying through starvation, paying for your books instead of groceries.
Studying through anxiety, because you do not know how you will get to work or perhaps to school to take that final exam.
I also know what it's like to be in 12th grade of high school, seeing everyone else breeze through college application period with their parents as guides. While my mother attended trade school, she never attended college or university. She did not know about financial aid, pell grants, or scholarships.
I know about having to figure it out all on your own. Asking a million questions to a million different people in the system.
I also know about making A's the only option for me in school, because I thought myself, "without money, I need to make stellar grades if I want to attend college". To complicate matters, your mother does not know how to balance a chemical equation, how to perform trigonemtric equations, or how to perform dimensional analysis.
And despite that, I was able to produce above average marks.
During high school and through the of nursing school my mother and I lived in a ONE bedroom dwelling space because we were so impoverished. Prior to this, prior to the divorce (of my parents) and separation we lived a life of comfort. Both my mother and step-father owned a business that yielded quite the monetary return.
However for the majority of my life, I only knew the struggle.
Despite all of this, I was able to overcome my circumstances. They did not become my excuse. They however did became my motivation.
I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class. Among 1,200 students I was at the top. I was able to go right into nursing school. I graduated with my ADN at 21. I've been a nurse for almost four years and now in the process of obtaining my BSN and then CRNA school.
Here I am now ---
As I sit hear dreading the coming semesters of combined RN-BSN courses with chemistry II, and organic chemistry on the side... I look back and reflect on my journey. I look back and the dread begins to vanish.
I want to say to you, that if you are struggling right now... you too can make it! If you are a single mom in nursing school, you too can make it! If you are having to work two jobs and go to nursing school, you too can make it! If you've been divorced or financially displaced, you too can do it!
Right now there is a lot on my plate, but I do hope that one day once I become a CRNA and established career-wise that I can reach out to underprivileged individuals, hispanics, and other minorities.
The odds were against me.
Although initially I grew up in a comfortable household, none of my parents attended university.
I grew up significantly on the lower income spectrum
Hispanic, a child of two immigrants (and although both arrived through legal means does not deter from the struggle it displaces on the children of immigrants)
According to the statistics I am not suppose to be where I am now, and I am not suppose to be heading in the direction I am. When I think about that? It gives me goosebumps.
Just like I overcame this, you can too. I hope that you never give up on your dreams and that you take my message personally and to heart. You are beating the statistics by even dreaming, by even being on this site, and my reading this post. Keep studying and keep pushing through!
Thank you for sharing your story. You’ve succeeded in every sense of the word.