To tell you the truth, this semester has been one of the hardest times in my life. I decided to make this my last blog for the semester because I was afraid to show the world what I have been going through. If you’re reading this, I hope you learn from my experience and can grow from it.
Last night me and my sister were cooking dinner. Simple stuff: homemade enchiladas and preparing Salvadorian hot chocolate that was handmade for us by our aunt in El Salvador. It was the perfect meal, except when my sister left a plastic handle ladle too close to the fire and picked it up unconsciously and burnt her fingers to the point the black plastic stuck to her fingers. At first, I thought she was joking about the pain. She placed her fingers under cool running water, of course in hopes it would wash off with no effort. That was not the case at all… She had to scrape the residue plastic from her fingers as she said she could feel blisters coming along. As a sister I laughed and taunted her, “why would you leave the PLASTIC HANDLED LADLE NEAR THE FIRE???”. I think the saddest part about this story is that I know for a fact that if I was on hot chocolate duty, I would have 1000% burnt myself too.
But because fate had me on the other side of the story, I was able to learn from a simple mistake and ingrain it into my brain of what can easily happen if you unconsciously neglect the dangers of not paying attention to what you’re doing.
And that’s where I want to start my story. The continuous story of a part time student who has been here since fall 2018. Geez I feel old. That 18 year old who started here at CCBC fresh out of high school seems like someone who I used to know. Someone who swore she knew exactly what she was doing and knew what she wanted to do in the long run. But where did she go? Because since this past summer of 2021, I constantly kept battling with myself and asking, “sometimes I wonder who I am?” Identity crisis? Check yes…. I wasn’t quite sure who I was nor what I was doing with my life.
I thought and swore I had figured everything out. I got into my chosen Histotechnology SHP program and had a very successful first semester in the program, but I wasn’t in love… I figured the best thing to do was keep pushing and not alarm anyone of my feelings this past summer. I kept telling myself, “You graduate July 2022, that is soooo close. You can start working and become the definition of an independent adult. This is what you’ve worked for and yearned for. Why are you being like this right now”. And I kept going and started this semester with a clear mind, I knew I would be able to start clinicals and that thought excited me.
But my emotions just couldn’t be withheld anymore. My first day after clinicals I sat bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic on 695, crying on my way home… Not even my pride could help me withhold my emotions having strangers on each side of my car looking at me cry. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I got home and tried to cool down but seeing my sister made me cry, followed by seeing my mother made me cry.
Fast forward through September and October, and I thought my constant sobbing chronicles would stop. I came to class and clinicals every week with a positive outlook. Succeeding academically per usual, but I wasn’t happy deep down.
Consulting friends seemed to always get me the “just push through it, you’re almost done” talk. This of course made me think I was maybe acting a tad bit self-centered, crybaby, weak willed, and that I should just listen to them and keep going.
Long story short after a couple of meetings with some folk at CCBC they gave me the courage to listen to myself and not others. I withdrew from what I had longed to get into and there I was turning in my drop form to the registrar’s office.
You may think wow seems like you figured it all out! WRONG. This made me feel even more lost and confused. I didn’t know what to do at all. I ended up having a mini cold. I don’t know if stress caused it or if it was allergies, but I rested for about 3 needed days where I just tried not to think. And in a weird way I’m thankful I got sick those days to actually rest and be easy on myself.
I know I am not the only person who has/is going through emotions like this towards school. I can list some of the people I spoke/met within that first month of withdrawing from my classes. Ranging from academic advising, student success navigators, my beloved Mrs. Lesley from student life, all of my great co-workers, career services, and my very patient therapist. Not to say I didn’t speak to my family and friends, but I just didn’t want to sound like a broken record.
The one thing I knew 10000% about was that me sitting around would continue to skyrocket my anxiety. Thankfully I took advantage of the 1 free course CCBC was offering during the minimester and took a CSIT111 course fully online. I’ve had so much fun in this course that it led me to do research and it’s official, I have changed my major to Health informatics Information Technology (mix of science and computers).
Like my sisters burning hand experience, I felt like I burnt myself going through this whole switching major situation. In a way I wouldn’t want anyone to experience what I’ve been dealing with. In a perfect world we would all know what we wanted. But that’s not the case. Trial and error is the most common theme we will all face in this lifetime. Understanding that it’s not the end of the world is the first step of acceptance that we indeed are not perfect human beings.
I really felt like I was drowning these few couple of months but it’s safe to say I am feeling a billion times better. Self care and taking life with a literal grain of salt is all we need sometimes. I want/need you all to know that it is perfectly fine to change your mind at any point in life when you’re not happy. Don’t tie yourself down to anything that your are not content with. Learn from my experience and just do it, if you’re thinking about it. Don’t babysit the thought, trust your gut because you know yourself better than anyone else. So what if it doesn’t workout or if people will judge? It’s not their life or business. Prioritize your feelings and know you are worth.
Happy end of the semester guys!!!!! I hope you enjoy the break and I’ll see you all back in spring, January 31st to be exact 😎