Looking back about 5 or 6 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be in the position I am in now. I’ve successfully completed 1 1/2 years of study at GCC, I was selected for the Dean’s list, I am part of the Leadership Certificate Program, and I am currently an Orientation Leader for our new students attending this fall. It seems that so much has happened in such a short span of time, but despite the initial “butterflies” back in the spring of 2013, I feel that I have come a long way.
While I work a full time job for Wegmans, I do my part time studies at GCC. Fortunately I have had this summer off, but previously I had literally spent the entire last year and a half almost non-stop with my studies. I am currently striving for a Computer Repair Certification, of which as a full time student it takes about 2 years to complete, doing it part time, my goal is about 3 1/2 years to complete it. At that point, I will re-assess what has happened up to and including that point, and perhaps I will go for a degree as well.
But going back to why I had chosen GCC. At the time prior, I was at a point in life where I was very unhappy with things. The years would come and go, I would see friends and coworkers come and go at Wegmans, and I just kept thinking “Nothing changes for me”, and “Life is just passing me by”. It took me about 3 years to make the commitment to become a student again. Now keep in mind, I had never gone to college before, although I had taken a few night classes over the years, of which included learning ASL, commonly known as American Sign Language, but since then I have pretty much lost what I have learned since it was many years ago. So prior to that, after I had graduated high school, I was just going from job to job over the years, of which seemed like an endless nightmare of no direction.
At the time I graduated, I had originally thought that I would take a year off and then go back, but when I had started to see what I would qualify for as far as financial aid and etc, I hit a roadblock since I was still living at home and unfortunately my parents made too much money for me to qualify for any sort of help. So as a result of so many set-backs, i pretty much put my life on hold, and consequentially let my life pass by.
At the encouragement of some good friends, and my girlfriend of many years, I decided to take the plunge and give college life a try. Little did I know what was ahead, and yes I was pretty nervous at first. “What am I doing??” and “I must be crazy for doing this” were 2 things that had come to mind as I remember. I’m not much of a risk taker by any means, but I decided that I wouldn’t know anything unless I at least tried and gave it the best shot possible. The rewards thus far have greatly outweighed the risks that I had calculated in my brain.
So as my time At GCC transpires, I look forward to each step along the way, and I embrace the changes in life that will eventually come. New challenges equal new opportunities. My only regret is not having come to the realization sooner. Yes, I may have some regrets, but in the same instance, if I hadn’t taken the chance like I did, those regrets would become more prominent, and my life would not have any meaning to it. I now have a clear direction, and will continue to follow wherever this path may take me.