The world population is estimated to equal a total of approximately 7 billion people. That is 7 billion people with lives equally or more complex than your own. When you think about the bigger picture, everyone has problems, and some have it worse than others. My own personal journey has not been easy, but the realizations I have come to have helped me, and I in turn feel I can sympathize with and help others facing similar struggles as a social worker one day.
Growing up I wasn’t given the same opportunities as those who come from functional and or financially stable homes. However, that did not discourage me from wanting to know more, even if there was nothing more to know within my limited environment. I distinctly remember being in the fifth grade, vigorously eager to quench my thirst for fresh knowledge. Sometimes I would let my curiosity consume me so much that I couldn’t stop the numerous questions that rolled off my tongue in class.
Sometimes my thoughts were so scattered with my many fascinations that I had to take a step back. My curiosity helped my younger self exceed in all things scholastic. The one source of encouragement came from my mother, who wanted better for me. She influenced me daily to fulfill my ambitions. She wanted me to choose the right path and to accomplish the things that she never had the opportunity to.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, my mother passed away when I was merely twelve years old. The result being I was burdened by the difficult task of having to provide constant care for my two month old brother. I was faced with many obstacles after losing my mom, one which includes that my father never finished middle school and is illiterate. I have battled depression and anxiety, sought help, and singlehandedly worked to secure a future for myself.
My situation has not been without setbacks. As I developed through the adolescent stage, I became infuriated due to my confinement in a setting with little to no guidance or intellectual offerings. That and facing the hardships in my attempts to nurture my younger sibling were major downfalls in my academic career and overall wellbeing. I know deep down that my perseverance in itself is an accomplishment.
As we live in a selfish society where it is not unusual to assign liability to everyone but yourself, for a long period of time I wallowed in self-pity and blamed all of my misfortunes on other people. With great apprehension, I do confess to previously not living up to my full potential. My only wish is that somehow I could make up for lost time, and that I could make my mother proud.
Lastly, I do not wish to seek sympathy, but rather the chance to break a substandard cycle. Neither my late mother nor my father attended college or even completed high school. The past few years of my life were spent thinking I could be content making minimum wage while not entirely a victim of poverty; just getting by. Recently, I came to the realization that regardless of my puzzling family arrangements or previous negativism, I have the ability to control my own life. I will prove to my little brother that success is possible and become a role model to him and others who have experienced similar situations. One day I will thrive on my past failures. I am now the young woman that refuses to settle for a life of unrealized potential. I am determined to share my experiences and to profoundly affect the lives of others. Having come through this, college will be easy, and the intellectual stimulation I have never ceased to crave.
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