This is a guest post from my current campus ambassador Nayla. Nayla attends Santa Monica College.
College? That&s for people who don&t have movie/rock star talent, or can&t scheme a “get rich fast” plan, people who aren&t as special as I am. It was this mindset that had me wishing I could go back in time, back to High School (read: 10 years ago), so I could focus on grades and SATs, scholarships, as opposed to looking down at the people who did, or focusing on being accepted. For a long time, I beat myself up over not having been a more focused student, but in time I realized things happened the way they had to, and it was my experience that landed me back in school with the full confidence.
Before moving to America from Brazil, I had never had a problem with schoolwork, and actually skipped first grade. I believe the language barrier played a part in me going from being a straight A student to more of a mediocre student. My burst of popularity also did not help my grade point average raise any either. I eventually went from being a shy person to one with many friends. These friends led me to believe a false image of “cool.” My Senior year I got into a couple of brawls, skipped class to go to the mall, or pretended I was sick to spend class time in the school clinic.
Back then I had a hard time balancing the staying focused on my goals with “keeping my coolness.” For that reason, I made many mistakes, and then I beat myself up over them. The fact is, I had priceless experiences due to my choices; I traveled and moved around a lot, made friends all over the place, and really got to know myself.
I managed to finish High School with a 3.8 GPA. I went back to Brazil after High School, and invested in three years of a full time Acting program, to exercise one of my many passions: performing arts. While there, I grew incredibly as an actress. I also grew an immense respect for people who stick to the arts, because it is not easy and its not cheap.
Over time I had the opportunity to get a lot of experience in office jobs, realizing I actually liked the set up of having weekends and holidays off, getting paid pretty decently, and having benefits. A part of me though, could not give up my passion for acting. But due to lack of money and the poor economy I joined the rest of the country and decided to finally further my education.
My perfect plan was: a full time day job and College classes at night. Well, I soon realized that was not practical, due to not many employers care that people want to grow professionally, and that not many schools consider people must work to survive. Since attended college, I have struggled to find a job to fit these demanding schedules without burning myself out. I&m still applying to a numerous amount jobs refusing to give up.
I&m now attending Santa Monica College in California, as Journalism major, and trying to figure out which university I would like to transfer to. I want a Bachelor&s in Digital Media/Web Design making me a more valuable employee to companies and fulfilling my passion for writing.
Aside from all of the difficulties I experienced through going back to school, I have yet to regret being this brave. I am staying very positive and excited about school; it&s been an amazing experience so far, and now, when I think of mistakes of the past, I realize everything is part of our individual spiritual path.
I see many people who went the other route and found themselves in careers they don’t love. I ran into a lot of my old “cool” friends who feel like losers like I did, but I also talked to some that found a path alternative to going to College, and are very satisfied with their lives. When I&m in class, I see lost young faces, and I am thankful that my life ran the course it did. My past made me value the things I am going after now. For my future I see myself having a career that fulfills, pays, and makes me the coolest person I can ever be, happy and proud of myself.