My First Trimester at Professional School

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.

The Only Thing Fated is Life and Death

The question of free-will and a future that is set in stone is something I ponder every so often. Part of me wants to say that as humans, we never truly make any decisions and that everything is predetermined–but, then another part of me begs to differ. There are only two things that are most certainly fated for our lives: when we are born and when we die. Although this seems to be obvious, it is something I never really thought of until early September 2019 when I was reading a book titled, Gilgamesh. There was an excerpt from the book that read, “When the gods assemble, they decide your fate, they establish both life and death for you, but the time of death they do not reveal.” As a whole, this line touches on a lot of common philosophical themes. It says how life and death are fated and both are inevitable, but we can never know when death will arrive; which begins to beg the question of whether we live to die or we live to live. I have to say that I find myself following the latter.

For as far as most of us know, right now, we are only living one life. There may have been lives before the present and lives to be lived in the future, but right here and right now we are living this life. The philosophical question of whether we are actually here right now or in some other time/realm can be asked, but it is up to the individual to decide that they are here now and that now is real. I choose to decide that I am here and that I am real and I live my life accordingly. With that being said, what are we supposed to do with this so-called life that we are all living? My answer for that is anything.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I have to say that I was inspired to write on such a topic after watching various movies and TV series that surround both fictional and non-fictional stories that follow a sort of “rags-to-riches” story line. Some of these movies consist of: 42, Naruto, Lee Daniels: The Butler, Stand By Me, and Lean on Me. In each of these movies there is an individual or several individuals who did what many would believe was impossible. The thing that I have noticed in life is that many people get stuck into some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy mindset. Whether it be the child whose parents tell him he’s no good or the child who dreams to be an artist, but his parents make him feel like he needs to become a doctor, it is something I see too often. What many do not realize is that if there is something that you have a deep desire to accomplish in this world, then you can most certainly do it. Looking at the movies I mentioned that were based off of true-stories, what if Jackie Robinson in 42 would have given up because the majority of society thought he wasn’t worth anything? Life for African Americans would most likely be drastically different because his strength would not have broken down the barriers at a time when they needed broken down most. Or in Lee Daniels: The Butler, Cecil Gaines (inspired by the real person Eugene Allen) could have had no will to get off of the plantation and seek work. Instead he worked the best he could and earned a job as a butler in the White House and lived to see the day where an African American took office. That brings in Barack Obama, too, not many would have ever thought that an African American would be the president of a country that tortured, murdered, enslaved, and completely abused African Americans for over 200-years. Eugene Allen even said that, “There were so many things in America you just couldn’t do. You wouldn’t even dream that you could dream of a moment like this.” Even consider Sandeep Singh, the Indian field hockey player who was shot and was in a wheelchair for a year, only to come back a stronger player and tackle various records within the professional field hockey league (watch the movie Soorma). Anyone you can think of that had all the odds stacked against them–Helen Keller, Wilma Rudolph, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and many that may not be recorded in history but have defied the odds and accomplished their goals–they are neither more nor less capable than you or I.

All of the aforementioned people are just ordinary people like you and I. Those are neither super-humans nor are they superior in any way. They were people with a goal and determination to reach the goal. My point of all of this is that the only person that can stop you from reaching your goal is you. Sometimes our goals don’t go as planned, but trust the process and TRUST that the universe did not give you this because you are due for something better. Sometimes what we want is not what we need. If there is something that you want with your entire self, then fight for it. Yes, manifesting growth brings growth, but you have to fight for it too. The Universe and the self work hand-in-hand. If you manifest the good energy, the Universe will attempt to align energies in a way that you can utilize and make good with; but, the key point is you have to utilize it because most things do not get handed to us. Of course there will be people who tell you that you can’t do it, but do you know what I have always said about such comments? “Fuck that.” Everyone that tries to bring you down, thank them, because they are only assisting in your growth. Nothing in the universe happens by mistake; yes, people make mistakes, but mistakes are a natural part of life and are all part of the overall process. Mistakes should never be used to define a person because one mistake in an entire lifetime of living is infinitesimal.

If there is one thing that I want you to get from this it is to go after all of your dreams and desires, as long as you go forth with regard for the greater good. Yes, what is wrong and right is a moral dilemma, but if you move forward with intentions to do right by many and not hurt others on your path to greatness, then I believe that can be considered good. I have seen so many people surround me that doubt themselves, myself included at times, and it breaks my heart. I have been around children who are labeled as “bad kids,” by adults and society and the kids believe it and live a life with no one telling them any different, and that breaks my soul. Do you know how they say there is no such thing as a bad dog, only a bad owner? The same goes for children. Yes, parents are not entirely to blame and there comes a point in time when we reach adulthood and have to make decisions on who we are by ourselves, but there is not an abundance of humans for no reason. We are here to help others and remind them that they are worth more than they think when they forget that. Humans are stronger together and they always will be. Love everyone. And help everyone grow and thrive.

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

I ask you to remember that you are worth more than any harsh words said to you. This may sound cliche, but anything you put your mind to you can accomplish. Be good to those around you. Support others dreams and if they reach them before you reach yours, celebrate. You are stronger than all the battles that you have survived. You are worthy of all that is good. You are worthy of peace. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of joy. You are worthy of happiness. You are worthy of life.

No one is in this life alone. True love will always conquer all.