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The Problem in Wanting

There was not a single, shining moment of clarity in which I suddenly understood the importance or working hard for my education. I did not lose a loved one. I did not have a near death experience. I did not visit a museum or a national landmark. I did not read an inspiring book or see a feel-good film. I never had that “Ah ha” moment. Eureka never passed through my lips.

However, at some point during my sophomore year of high school, I gradually began to truly think about the future; about what I did and didn’t want for my future.

I did not want to despise my job as my stepfather does. I did not want to struggle to pay the bills as my mother once did. I want to live in a city I love, to drive a car I can count on. I want to travel, to learn, to understand. These desires inspired me to commit to school, to bring my grades up, to look ahead, and to prepare myself for life after High School.

In turn, I began to study harder, to care more, and to fight for the future that still seemed so far away. My Cs soon turned to Bs, and those Bs steadily to As. Before I even understood what I had done, I let myself begin to dream, to hope, and to imagine. Through aspiring for a bright future, I created a brighter present for myself.

After two years of steady progress, my aspirations have grown, and I have grown. Now a senior in high school, I see my once far-off goals suddenly within reach; so close, I can feel their warmth. All my work spurred from wanting, and of course there lies a problem in wanting anything, in hoping and dreaming. Once you really want something—once you anticipate— you can lose it, you can be disappointed.

I’ve grown up as the only child in a single-parent household. For most of my life it was just me and my mother, however a few years ago my mother got married and now we are a family of four. My mother is a self-employed cosmetologist, my step-father installs and repairs air-conditioning units, and I myself work a weekend job for minimum wage. We are far from the poorest people I know, but I assure you that we do not have $30,000 lying around waiting to buy me an education. Without some form of financial aid, I go nowhere and I do nothing until enough money can be saved up; which could take years. This is the reality I fear, a reality I know is too close for comfort.

I have a wide range of interests that—in theory—could all be molded into respectable careers; from Creative Writing to Sociology, to Anthropology and Ethnology. “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I am not entirely certain. At Armstrong I hope to pursue Sociology as a course of study, but I can make no promises that in ten years I will be a Sociologist; it seems life is uncertain that way. While Sociology is offered only as a minor degree of study at Armstrong I believe it will be the perfect place to start, and the ideal environment for me to discover who I am and what I want to be.

In closing, Armstrong Atlantic State University is where I want to be, where I’ve dreamed of being, and where I’ve worked hard to get. I know there may be failures, but I am ready to overcome them. Through perseverance, dedication, and motivation I will make my family, my University, and myself proud; if I am only awarded the opportunity.




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