Being the oldest of a medium size family is a handful. I am the oldest of four girls and my mom is pregnant with her baby boy!
Waking up every morning getting my younger sisters’ and myself ready for school. Going to school some days I was not feeling it. I was a hardworking student but my grades did not always show it. After school, I would go to track practice and work my butt off I loved track. It got my stress away, from everything that has been going on at home.
As a junior in high school almost close to the end of the school year. I had to get a lot of stuff done for my senior year. Knowing what colleges I wanted to go to was a struggle for me because I knew I wanted to go to South Carolina and my dream school was the University of South Carolina in Beaufort. That was my college, I knew I was going to go there, no doubt in my mind.
It was the beginning of May when I had my meeting with my guidance counselor. I walked into her office not knowing what to expect. We got to talking about how everything was going to school, then she asked about colleges. I didn’t know what to think, what to say.
“Well, I was looking at colleges mostly in South Carolina because that is where my family is and where I want to go as soon as I get out of high school,” I said nervously. Not knowing what she was going to say.
“Thalia do you know going to an out-of-state college is more expensive than in-state colleges?”
I honestly did know that but I didn’t really want to admit it. She then asked me what colleges I was looking at here in Connecticut.
“To be honest I was not looking at any colleges up here,” I said looking down at my hands.
“Well I think you should start looking at colleges up here, but I can give you some options.” she then said, “First you can stay up here, and go to college. Take a gap year, go down to South Carolina and start working and living there. Or if you do have family down there, you can do your senior year down there, and live there for at least six months before applying to colleges. And you will qualify for in-state tuition.”
I automatically knew I did not want to take a gap year because if I take a gap year I knew I was not going to want to go back to school. Ms. Woods told me to go home and talk with my mother about my options and what was best for me. I wanted to take the opportunity and going to leave down South with my grandmother.
This was on my mind the whole time during school and practice. When I got home I went straight to my mom’s room where she was laying down watching television. I did not know how to start the conversation, she asked me how was my day.
“Ummm… well, I had a meeting with my guidance counselor today about colleges. I told her I wanted to go down south for colleges and basically told me I couldn’t do that because it is more expensive. She gave me three options, take a gap year and go move down south after I graduate and start working and stuff. Stay up here for college. Or after my junior year here, move down south with Grandma and get enrolled down there for my senior year. And I will be qualified for an in-state tuition because I am leaving there and finishing school.” I said quickly hoping she understood everything I said.
“Okay, so what do you want to do,” she said as pausing her show. I knew when she paused her to show it was going to get serious,
“I DON'T want to take a gap year, that is out! But moving down south with Grandma isn’t a bad idea I can do a lot and get right for the ‘college life’. I don’t think she will have a problem with me moving down there with her.” I responded confidently. I looked at my mom and she gave me one of those looks, you know the mom looks.
“Why are you trying to leave me, you know I need you. I can’t do this alone.” She sounded kinda disappointed.
I didn’t respond to what she said. I just started thinking and having my own thoughts. I knew this would happen, she would want me to stay with her to help her out. But I couldn’t I have things I need to do in life, and I can’t just be sitting at home helping her with the kids.
She is the only one holding me back from doing what I want to do. I knew she needs me, but I have things to do to. I just can’t be with her forever, she needs to learn how to let me go sometime.
I went to my room laid down and started thinking about life and what I wanted to do. I got on the computer and started looking at college up here. Maybe staying up here would make her happy. Maybe I would be happy too.
All the colleges up here aren't that bad they have great education programs that would suit me. I looked at the four sister schools, University of Saint Joseph and UHart.
Summer 2016! This was my summer, to do stuff and meet new people. My younger sisters’ was down south with my grandma. I had a summer job and I got to anything I wanted. Spending time with my mom and friends. I had a great summer, but when August came I knew it was back to the small old school stuff. But this time it would be different. I would be back to looking at colleges I want to go to.
Back to college stuff, looking at which one were right for me. Where do I see myself up here? I started looking online at the colleges I was interested in. Then I came across open houses. I knew this would be my chance to go and actually see these campuses. So I started signing up for the open houses of the colleges I was interested in.
I did it, I did everything on my own. I ended up going to five open houses! Getting myself back and forth from these open houses and getting all the information I needed.
I know myself, once I put my mind to something I am going to do it, I am going to make it happen no matter what the outcome are.
I started to apply to my colleges one by one. Each time I applied to a college it made me feel good about myself. And me knowing I can do anything I put my mind too all by myself. Of course, I still applied to my top college which is the University of South Carolina Beaufort.
After my mom had the baby, my sisters and I in school. I knew she was overwhelmed and didn’t have a lot of support. She said that she is moving down south after I graduate. I can honestly say that broke me because she said she was going down south and the reason I made my decision to stay up here was for her!I missed my chance to move down south with my grandma. And I know my mom she’s going to want me to go down with her, so I can help. That would mean me taking a gap year. Not what I want to do!
After awhile I started second guessing myself about everything! Do I really want to go to college? Is it that important? I might as well just stay with my mom and help her out because she obviously needs me more than me going to college.
There has been days in school that I had breakdowns and didn’t feel like doing anything or talking to anybody. I felt like I was fighting my inner self and it was winning.
I began to work on myself and telling myself everything is worth it. I knew I could not just give up my dreams for my family.
I got home one day and there was mail for me, one from the University of South Carolina Beaufort and Southern Connecticut State University. The moment I have been waiting for. Hopefully my acceptance letter. I looked for the congratulations part first. I got super excited when they said I got accepted. Then, it was time to open the Beaufort letter! Not knowing what to expect. Should I open it now or wait til later? I tried to open it really fast without ripping it. Once I saw that congratulations, I started to feel so proud of myself and started to get emotionally.
Once my freshman year is done and I maintained that 2.5 gpa. I would transfer to the beautiful campus in Beaufort, South Carolina. Having that 2.5 gpa was very important because I would be qualified for my scholarship!