Everyone has their own reason for attending college. One CNU sophomore tells her story of discovery.
College has undoubtedly been the most eventful two years of my life thus far. While this time has offered me some of the greatest challenges I have had to face, it has brought me more adventure, joy and self-discovery than anything ever has. I simply could not imagine where my life would be if I hadn’t been granted the opportunity to pursue my education beyond my high school graduation. But despite all the value I possess towards my education, and the experiences it gives me both inside and outside of the classroom, college was not always foreseeable to me.
Dance has always been my passion. Growing up, I reigned it dominant over all other aspects of my life, with the exception of family. For a time I even placed it before school, because I was certain that I was going to make a living for myself as a dancer. I developed this mentality between my freshman and sophomore year of high school; I became fixated on the idea of bypassing college altogether, and diving head first into a career in dance, without testing other waters beforehand. I figured that since I was certain of what I wanted to do with my life, pursuing my education would be a waste of time and money, because I didn’t need a degree to dance.
It wasn’t until my third year of high school that my mindset began to shift. Junior year, I enrolled in my first AP course; AP Language. I always had a knack for English and writing, and after a friend encouraged me that I had too much potential not to take it, I decided to give it a try. I absolutely fell in love with it. I was astonished by how much I didn’t know, how much I was discovering and how much there was left to learn. My attitude towards my future and where I devoted my time in working towards it changed drastically. My perfect dance attendance began to decline, as I was significantly dedicating myself to my studies and my school involvement. It was as if taking a college level course completely opened my eyes to all the possibilities that were before me. I realized that there was so much knowledge and experience awaiting that only college could provide me with. If taking an AP course in and of itself was an opportunity for growth and self-navigation, I could only imagine how much more was in store for me at a university beyond high school. With this newfound mentality, college became my foreseeable dream. I didn’t have a plan beyond that, but I figured that was what college was for: discovery.
I’m grateful everyday for this epiphany that was casted upon me my junior year of high school. The past two years have navigated me through a great deal of life, and guided me to places I never thought I’d go. I’ve branched far beyond my comfort zone, and taken advantage of opportunities I never imagined for myself. It was a transition that I struggled with significantly, and it even took transferring universities for me to find my place and pave my path. Given the chance, however, I wouldn’t go back and change a second of it. Each occurrence in my college experience has equipped me with the tools needed to build a successful future for myself; independence, perseverance, confidence and intelligence. Although my path is still not completely clear, I cherish the ability to pursue my education, and appreciate the countless hours of work my parents put in towards providing me with that opportunity. I see the endless nights in the library and weekly mental breakdowns as preparing me for whatever direction I decide to take. Each day is a journey, and each obstacle is fuel that drives me further towards my destination. That’s why I go to college; for the knowledge, the character, the experience and the reward I would have otherwise been deprived of.