I love school. I love learning. I love listening to professors. I love discussions. I love homework. I love studying. And I love seeing results reflect my effort. Starting at Palmer College of Chiropractic has been my dream since I was eight years old. I’ve always had the dream of helping others, but through natural medicine was the way I wished to do so.
Although I love being at Palmer, it has not been an easy road. During my first year of college, at DePaul University, the fall following my high school graduation in May 2018 I took a full-load my last two quarters at DePaul along with an additional two online courses at Illinois Valley Community College. This was very challenging for me. I was in seven classes at a time and I constantly had work to do. What kept me motivated? I knew that this was what I had to do to reach my goal…besides I loved all of the classes I was in and I learned a lot of material that was of much benefit to me.
As I arrived for my first day of class at Palmer, I knew that I was about to embark on a four year journey that would consist of heavy struggles, stressful tears, and endless smiles of achievement. As I am currently in the undergraduate program at Palmer until July 2020, I have had light course work in comparison with what is to come. I know that as I begin the doctorate program in July 2020 that I will be in a whole new world and have an entirely different level of responsibility on my shoulders, but even this first trimester has been different than all of my years of schooling.
The environment at this school is wonderful, but it took a little while to get adjusted to. Being 19 years old at a professional school where the average age is 26 is more rewarding than it is not. I have definitely felt myself mature and grow stronger focus during these past three months, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes it is difficult when I see videos and pictures of close friends at their college homecoming football games, constant Greek life events, dorm shenanigans, and the mountainous supply of food from the dining hall. I realize it was my choice to cut my time at a four-year college down to one year and I have no regret with that choice, but sometimes it all really does stress me out. I find myself surrounded by like-minded individuals that are decades older than me and some that are just half a decade. I think that there is maybe one other student that I have met that is under 20 years old. It makes me feel out of place sometimes, but this school has been nothing but welcoming. Regardless of whatever emotion is running through my body, I know that this is all for something great and that all of the stress will be worth it and that is what pushes me to keep on keeping on.
I’ve dedicated myself completely to myself and to my schooling and it has been good for me. I used to fear missing out with my friends at home while I was at DePaul and I was constantly visiting because I didn’t want to be forgotten, but since I have been at Palmer things have changed. I miss my friends and family and I miss being home, but I know that they’re still here no matter what. I find myself feeling a since of home here and I have started to find great comfort in my own company. Spending weeks by yourself, day and night, is healing for the soul and I don’t fear being alone anymore. I look forward to coming back to my apartment after class to make note-cards, study for my next exam, or just watch a few episodes of a favorite show. As the trimester ends and as my grades are in a very strong place, I look back at the trimester and I am pleased. I had many nights full of crying and feeling broken for various reasons, and overcoming those feelings with no one around me was difficult, but necessary for my growth. I worry less because I know that most things are not worth my energy and most things do not matter that much. I developed a great study ethic and uncovered a form of determination that I never knew I had. This first trimester has changed my life and has molded me into a stronger person in ways that extend much further than my life as a scholar.
There is a long road that lies ahead of me, but I know that I am equipped with the grit and resilience to get past anything that comes my way. And let me tell you, with absolute confidence, that you are too. Go out and chase your dreams right now, because there really is no time like the present. We aren’t too young to start turning our hopes and dreams into reality. You are capable of greatness, all you need to do is believe that you are and it will come.