Being part of the highschool graduating class of 2020, I as well as many other students struggled with the whole switch from in person classes to all online courses. Freshman year of college is in my opinion the best year to familiarize yourself with what college really is about and it’s quite difficult to grasp that when every interaction is through a screen and you’re home. During my freshman year I was attending classes without the guidance of any advisor and I can admit to have been completely lost with the whole cuny first website as well as blackboard and all the neverending notifications to turn in assignments, or the famous “ due at 11:59”. At the time I was going through an issue with the financial aid office that I had no idea how to approach because I had “missed a deadline” to submit some documents that I’m sure I had already submitted, but the financial aid office claimed to have not received anything. This tiny inconvenience resulted in me being fined an absurd amount of money that I couldn’t afford. I was being charged for the entire semester over four thousand dollars because of a missing document that I had but did not submit on time. This took a toll on me because I was working part time during the breakout of the pandemic, while being a full time student, and was financially unable to pay off that debt soon enough to begin my following spring semester. I waited and missed the spring semester of the year 2021 and did some research on how I could possibly clear the hold on my cuny account.
In the course of the spring semester that I was missing, I felt helpless and the spring break that I unwantedly was giving myself felt like forever and a day. I craved that discipline that college was training me to have, but couldn’t do anything. I began to question if I was even a good fit to be a college student and even considered joining the army through an offer I had received while I was working one day. I began to explore the possibilities of my future If I didn’t attend college. Then one evening, I was on my way home after my shift at work and while I was googling different career options in the medical field. I stumbled upon “Sonography ultrasound technician” and immediately felt in my heart, that “this is it” feeling. Finding my dream career was like the gas to my engine in this journey. It made me search up “Appeals for cuny college students”, “How to get help with a hold on your cuny account?” I soon got in contact with the financial aid office through a scheduled zoom meeting. They spoke to me about the covid-19 emergency relief and federal student aid which happened to clear my debt away and I was then able to sign up for classes last fall. Fall of 2021 was my new fresh start. I bought myself dry erase markers, a dry erase calendar board, organized my notes, classes, and due dates for every class on my phone notes as well as on my desktop at home. I checked my emails religiously every single day. This made me feel so much better about myself, there was much more clarity in my life and I had nothing stopping me from going after what I wanted. Knowing what you want and having the resources to go after whatever you want is all that’s needed to accomplish your goals and remain resilient through the storm. I felt like I could overcome any obstacle that was put in my way because in reality I was the only one in my own way. I can honestly say that break was the best thing that could’ve happened to me cause it seriously helped me learn so much about myself and what I believe my purpose is in this world. It also taught me that things don’t always unfold how you plan them to be in the long run so what’s most important is to focus on what’s present and consistently give it your all. All praise to the most high who was there for me through that rough patch.