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Helgerson 1 Over the years, as you think back to when you were a kid. Going back to school meant a variety of things. With it came all the emotions and feelings that you carry with you for the rest of your life. At the time you had no idea what they meant or how to deal with it. You just knew how it made you feel. Like your first day at kindergarten, scared and totally overwhelmed.
All night before my big day, I threw up. That morning I walked through the door, sat down at my desk and threw up. From that first day going back to school was a nausea's experience for me. That was a long time ago and there have been many first days for me.
Now at thirty-three, I have decided to go back to school. It has been fifteen years since I graduated from high school. At twenty-one, tired of the blank nothingness that had filled the space inside my head. Where I once had a brain, decided to go to college. It was 1988. I was a single mother and felt there was something missing in my life.
Not only that, I wanted the respect and acceptance of family and friends. I had it in my head that to be treated like an equal with men. You had to have a degree. The ability to have an intellectual conversation versus the typical "hey baby" or "you don't know what you " re talking about." Really bothered me. I didn't want to be thought of as lesser than based on my gender, or less intelligent because I had tits. Nor did I want to be in the stereotype women have been cast into throughout time.
Inspired by being the first in my family to go to college and the first to break the generations of abuse and addiction. I would break the cycle and be able to provide my children everything I never had, a functional family, a future, and a life with unconditional love. As I reflect back on how I was feeling. It makes me realize how naive I was.
How little life experience I had and how vulnerable I was. For right around the corner was the big bad wolf and thus ends the first attempt to better myself. What begins is the nightmare reality of what life in hell is like. This was the transition into everything I was trying to escape. If my life were a book, this chapter would be titled "My life as a Dancer, I Slept with a murder, a drug dealer, and a thief." I had been supporting my family cock tailing and dancing. Until I started school I had no problems with the lifestyle.
Then I met David, he took me to the depths of hell. No longer could I think for myself for I was his property. Speak when spoken to, do as I say without a word, or the punishment will be so severe you might not be alive in the morning. I did what he told me to and I let him think for me.
I turned to drugs and went numb. I didn't have to feel, think, or be. I wanted the drugs to kill me, I figured the more I did the better the chance that death would come. Fortunately death was the only thing that didn't come. What followed was crime, needles, jail, and prison.
Unlike the feelings I had from the first day of school, I was feeling bitter and angry. The school of life had let me down, left me void of feeling, and emotionally bankrupt. Thus began my journey in to awareness and self-discovery. It was about five years later that thoughts of school began creeping in. My son was in school, I had a man I truly loved, we had a business, and house in the country. Sounds perfect doesn't it?
Well it wasn't, but life was good. I went back to school, this time with an actual course of study. I was going for an associate in Radio Broadcasting. I was 26 at the time and it was so refreshing to use my brain again.
It was like I just clicked the light on in a dark room. I had forgotten that I was pretty intelligent and that learning is the key to knowledge. I was feeling happy and excited! I had over come my past and was back on the road to life.
I was six classes away from obtaining my degree, when dysfunction and substance abuse took control. And went back to the bottle and a bag, my only friend. Feelings of depression, guilt, and failure had sent me into a tailspin of no control. Now the school of life had become the school of hard knocks. Well here it is the year 2000 and I am doing it again. With the past behind me begins the future with a twist.
I am back in school and now have a 3 -year-old son who demands a lot of my time. A new relationship, which also takes a lot of work and it, seems, as I get older I've become less motivated. Just getting up in the morning is a chore and I wonder how I have managed to do this in the past. I feel now that I am in the last stages of the school of life. Not that my age indicates I am a senior but that I am a senior in life. I no longer have the enthusiasm or the energy that I had when I was back in school the last 2 times.
I am physically and emotionally depleted. Comfortable with being a couch potato, I force myself to go to school. I feel tired and that means I am a grown up. I have finally become an adult. At 33 I feel I should have accomplished more in my life.
On the same token my experiences have made me wiser, stronger, and older. What the hell does all this mean? Who knows? I know that through trial and error we go through stages that bring us to adulthood. School gives us the power and knowledge to overcome diversity.
Our feelings, and experiences determine when we are grownup, not our age. And the rite of passage into adulthood has been achieved. How do I feel to finally be an adult? Drained, and wondering if I will ever graduate. Bibliography:
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