Eight Years of Community College. I Found My Way. Now I’m Good

By Agnes Pahulu

Let’s start off with why I’m good. I’m alive, I’m blessed with a great family that supports me and they continue to encourage me to strive for the best, in whatever it is that I do, and I’ve gained confidence in myself to block out negative thoughts that tell me otherwise. Like a lot of people out in the world, I have many struggles in my life that I have yet to conquer and I have been comfortable with placing them on a back burner as I ignore them. One of my greatest challenges and greatest disappointments in life is the fact that I have never gotten myself together. In the sense of a routine, where I can balance the main aspects of my life, from working out, to family event and obligations, to keep a healthy social life with friends, work, and last but not least the courage to apply to a State/University college. I had it in my mind that only brilliant people could get into a four-year college, not someone like me.

As embarrassed, as one would be to admit, I was an eight-year community college student. I didn’t strive to get the best of grades after my first semester. My aim was to simply pass and move on to the next class. I lost interest in school, because I didn’t know what it was I was going to get into as far as a major. I floated around in many different courses, learning random facts and tricks of the trade as a student. I have met with various counselors of the school to see what it was that I could do with the courses that I have already taken. A few of the counselors that I met up with took a look over my transcripts and displayed lost hope on their faces, quite a few encouraged me to strive for better grades and get back to them, while there was one who flat out had no faith in my decision of a major and encouraged me to take a career course.

Eventually I stopped going to the counselors office and asking for guidance, I had to figure myself out, by myself. At home I was being hassled by my family, “When are you going to graduate? Are you even going to school?” were just a few of the questions that were often asked whenever I was in their presence. I understood where they were coming from with their frustration, hell I was frustrated myself. After shedding a few tears and finding the right counselor, I found a path to follow, and I decided that I was going to try my best no matter what. This counselor not only helped me see the many things that I was capable of, but what I had unnoticeably accomplished while I was at community college (I picked up quite a few associate degrees). Last but not least this counselor guided me in the direction to apply to any four year college that I felt suited me, he never hinted that I had any limitations.


Today, I’m glad to say that I finally felt comfortable enough to finally try something out of the norm for myself. I still struggle with time management, but I’ve come to terms with my greatest fear of not being smart enough. I graduated from the community college that I was too afraid to leave, applied to only one four year college, and I actually go in. At the end of my first quarter I was surprised to learn that the lowest grade I earned was a B-. Nowadays when the slightest thought of “you can’t do this” creeps up on me, I put myself to work to keep busy just to block it out. I have learned that if you don’t keep moving forward in your thinking and continuously search for what you want, you’ll settle and never know what you’re capable of doing.




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