With the challenges and the goals we set for ourselves, we seek to grow, both as individuals and as professionals. From a particular point of view, I always believed that in as much as we go through tough times in our lives, our parents would always be our greatest support system. I, however, never thought of what could possibly happen to me if my parents were no more! I could find countless words in the thesaurus to describe the amount of shock and grief that struck me on that fateful day when my sister, Lauren, and I received the sad news that both our parents had been killed in a tragic road accident and this marked the beginning of my journey of uncertainty.
I had just completed my high school studies, and like any other teenager, I was not sure of what fate or rather the future, had in store for me. It was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that my sister and I were now orphaned and we had to figure out how we would lead the rest of our lives. While still in the state of uncertainty and about a month after we had buried our parents, I figured that I had to raise money that my sister and I would live off. As reality began to dawn on me, I landed a job at a local food joint, where I still work to date. While initially, my position at food joint seemed appealing and satisfying, I began to think more and more about my future, and the career I had always dreamt of. As diligent and hardworking as I was, I put all my efforts so that I could at least gain stability in my job and raise funds for myself so that I could pursue my college education.
Looking back at my first year working at the restaurant, my life was like a cityscape, busy and vibrant. In as much as I was willing to meet lifes challenges, I was not prepared for critical failure. At this point in life, my life was hard. I was not really certain whether I would be in a position to balance school and work or even raise enough finances for my education for both my sister and I. I was, however, ready for anything so that I could be in a position to pursue my dreams. Just as I thought that my life would not get any worse, it proved me wrong when I walked into the Community College that required me to relocate to another town during the course of my studies. I was confused and bearing in mind that I had a job to report to every day, I knew that this was just the beginning of some of the most critical challenges of my life, but I set my foot down that I would not give up on my studies.
Upon joining college, I spent the better part of my first year behind closed doors and was extremely objective of any new ideas that were suggested in school. The fact that this was my first time leaving myself and far away from my family just did not resonate well with me. However, on this one particular weekend, I sat in my bed feeling confused, crying and feeling incredibly angry and distraught. I could tell that something was seriously wrong with me, but as usual, I tried to rub it off and stared blankly into one of the books that my grandmother had gifted me right before I left for college.
I vividly remember that it was on a rainy but a usual Humboldt Friday night for a college student and in my hand, I held a book that I had no idea was about to change me and my college life as a whole. Marilyn Frenchs book The Womens Room shone a new light in my life and for the first time, I became acutely aware of the issue in Womens rights as well as the numerous things that women can do to stand for themselves in the society. In this particular book, French describes the lives of average women who are nothing out of the ordinary. For most of them, going to college was just like any other phase in their lives, and they did not even care about the benefits of college. For me, reading this was more of a wakeup call. I did not imagine leading a miserable future, and all the experience described in this book began to resonate best with me.
Having changed my entire perspective on my college life, my sophomore year was nothing similar to my first year. I became increasingly interactive, and after a couple of months, I had created a stable social life for myself. I got involved in numerous college activities that were primarily centered on social development and especially empowering women, and this offered me great opportunities to meet new leaders and high profile people who I approached and were willing to finance my college studies.
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