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.

E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N

All my life I have always been very serious about school. Every assignment. Every test. Every set of notes. Complete seriousness. While I am partially serious because of the large sum of money I am putting into my education, there is another deeper reason that backs my determination.

I think that most of us can agree that access to education, just like food and water, is a human right—but, let’s be honest with ourselves and recognize that we live in a world where it is not. Everyone deserves to expand their knowledge and have access to the things that give us that knowledge. But that was not always the case. Not too long ago, my not so distant ancestors were not given that right, because much of society barely recognized as human. So many people have died so that I can sit in a classroom at Palmer College of Chiropractic and learn. People fought like hell, faced abuse, and were murdered so that I could pursue my dream. Education and school oftentimes seem like a burden to many people, but if you look at how much of a privilege it is, it may make you appreciate it more. I recently watch a movie titled, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, this movie took place in Wimbe, Malawi and within the movie I realized how privileged I was to attend school. The boy in the movie was very intelligent and he loved school, but his family could not pay the dues and the boy was ripped out of school. He attended one science class, despite being kicked out, and the director of the school noticed him. The boy was then expelled from school and was never allowed to attend any school in the district ever again. He was absolutely crushed. It is not that the director did not want the boy to attend, it was simply that the village needed every penny in order to pay the staff and keep the school running. I thought back on the many years of education that I had under my belt and then I thought about how angry I was to go to school. I recalled many mornings where I would roll out of bed with a scowl on my face and scoff as I walked out the door. The only word that I could think about was ungrateful.

“Education truly is a privilege. With more than 70 million children who have no access to primary education, it becomes obvious that not all are guaranteed the right to education.”

Steve Mueller

If you are in school right now, be grateful because I can guarantee you that there is some child out there who would switch places with you in an instant. If you are a woman or a person of color, remember how many people died just so you could sit in that classroom and study. Education may seem like a pain in the ass and a commonality for us all, but not long ago in the United States, education was a luxury that very few were seen to be worthy of having. Even in the modern day, in countries all over the world, there are families who drain their entire savings just to send their children to school, unsure if they can afford another year. There are children who lay in their beds broken and confused wondering, “Why can my friends go to school but I can’t?” We can all shit talk the education system and how expensive school is, and do not get me wrong I think the price of education is absurd. But how many of us complain about going to school, skip classes, don’t do our work, and put forth little effort in class? If anything, we should be working our asses off given the inflated rate we pay for each damn class. I am not saying that I do not slack off sometimes, because I do and I need to work on my focus and put forth more of myself in my work—although, oftentimes I put too much of myself into my work.

All I am trying to say is that before you decide to not go to class the entire semester or blow off an assignment, think of that little child who would do anything in the world just to be given a homework assignment from a teacher. Or that distant ancestor who was beat to death because they were marching all day and night for the opportunity to hear at least one teacher speak. School is important and school is serious. It doesn’t matter if you want to go to trade school, a liberal arts school, or any school that exists—it is all the same and they are all privileges that we often don’t see how precious they really are. Even grade school and high school are important for all the same reasons—I have a deep sense of sureness that being told that you cannot go to school is a much bigger burden than having to wake up early to go to school.

Not only is school a privilege, think about the teachers that spend their lives guiding you. Yes, not all teachers put forth the effort that should be, but I believe that a lot of teachers are truly superheroes. Teachers are people who dedicate their lives to give you knowledge to help you fulfill your dream. I cannot recall how many times I have sat in a lecture and have watched a professor spill out their entire heart and soul into the lecture because it was their passion. Yet still some students sat on their phones and paid the professor no mind. Some professors and teachers choose to teach because they love what they teach about. It is their passion. Their life’s work. Everything that they love. If you can see that passion and hear it in their words, why not listen to them? Why not try to understand why they love it so much? We are such a disconnected age of people—hell, we have always been such a damn disconnected society. Start listening to people, rather than hearing them, and I can assure you that you so many people will start to become so much more beautiful, because people are so damn beautiful.

“Listening means taking a second to consider what they’re saying, not just hearing their words”

Unknown

If you decide to attend school, why not give it your all? Why not do the best that you can? It may seem like such a small part of your life, but to someone out there, it would be their world if they had the opportunity to go. I know the seemingly endless mound of debt is frustrating, but debt is a small price to pay to fulfill your dream—you could just not have the opportunity at all. Think about the lives that have been lost, the people who have been brutally beaten, and the shouts that have been heard just so that YOU could sit in class, right that paper, take that test, and be educated. Education is just as much of a privilege in this world as water and food—they should all be human RIGHTS, but we live in the twisted reality that they are not. We can continue to fight the system and make it a human right, but while we do that, we sure as hell must treat it like one ourselves.

Appreciate what you have because what is an insignificance to you is a luxury to others.

High School Graduation Day, 2018