Growing up education was something that was important to my family and myself. I always wanted to be the first in my family to take on higher education. All through grade school, I was an honors student but by the time I made it to high school, things had changed. I had new friends, a new attitude, a different approach to learning and education was not as important to me. My parents always believed that I was smarter than the effort I was putting forth, and I was.
Through my first year in high school I could tell from the other students that I made friends with that I was going to be influenced in some ways. My friends at the time had very little structure compared to mine. My best friends would go to parties and get together when I was at home studying. I now realize I should have been studying, but at that time I could only think I was missing out on the fun. English was my worst subject in school and gave me the hardest time. I did not have any interest in the subject and it showed. School was not all that bad for me, Science, on the other hand, was my favorite subject and kept most of my interest. I eventually understood what I needed to do to get through the class and needed a lot of work to do so.
When it came to English class my effort was lacking more than in others. English was my worst subject in high school. I did not care for the material that we were taught, or the correct spelling of words. I had a teacher that, upon no fault but my own, did not care for me and showed it. I was put in the back of the class next to his desk so he could keep an eye on me. I used to fall asleep in class, draw and do anything but pay attention. It was because of this that I had to repeat English One in my sophomore year. Having that teacher left me with a bad impression of this particular subject. I was less than happy that I failed, but again to no one’s fault but my own.
Science, on the other hand, was my favorite subject and it came easy for me. I had high honors throughout grade school and high school. By the time junior year came around I was asked to be a student aid. This class interested me so I put my absolute best into it. Every teacher I had each year, played an important role in this and they made the class fun and easy for me to keep on track. I also did not think of anything else while in this class, I was able to fully concentrate. For some reason, science had a hook in me.
I was not a bad kid or a bad student. It was just that English did not appeal to me. When it came time to take my English One class over the following year, I tried not to think about the mistakes I made in this class the previous year. I tried to study harder, pay more attention in class, and most importantly not worry about what my friends were doing. I did better that year than the year prior, I passed but not by much. I am not sure what the difference was that year because I still remember resenting the class even my second time around. It could have been that I had the same teacher and he still had me in the back of the class but this time I was different.
Unfortunately, my bad English class habits carried over with me to my first attempt at higher education. In high school, I majored in Satellite Communications, so I enrolled at ITT Tech with the hopes of continuing my education in this subject. The first semester was great. I did really well in the classes. The next semester, they introduced English. I should have figured that this class was not going to be the same English I took in high school, but going into it I assumed I was going to hate it. This was where my first attempt in college went downhill.
I was very dissatisfied with school at this point, I started sleeping in class, studying for my other classes, and listening to music. I then again became more concerned about hanging out with my friends later at night after I would get out of work. We would stay out so late that I would sleep in the next day and miss class. I did not seem to care though. I had a job, money, a car, and my friends. School to me was unnecessary.
I went many years trying to figure out why I hated school so much, only to realize that I did not care for English. Looking back, it was not sensible of me to let a single subject bring me down, to get under my skin so much that I despised school as a whole. I would give a lot to be able to go back in time and do it over. I would study harder and pay more attention, all the things a good student should do. I know having friends is also important but I should have planned my nights out better. I wish I would have done better in my English classes as I would not have so much anxiety towards it today.
As I decided to further my education and enrolled at Trocaire College, I knew there would be an English class. I’m not going to lie, it gave me some anxiety, but I now look at it as a stepping stone towards my end goal and career, to become a nurse. I will try my hardest, will I have a hard time, of course, will I get the highest grade possible, probably not, but I will sure try my hardest and remain focused with the end result in mind.
Working in the medical field has helped me choose which path I want to take to further my education and career. I started off working as a secretary with some patient interaction. I then moved to the role of an MRI technical aide where I was screening patients face to face and assisting them in the MRI machine. I also assisted our pain management doctor with pain injections. I am now doing more behind the scenes computer work and do not interact with patients on a daily basis. Without the daily patient interaction in my job right now I realize how much I enjoyed helping the patients and miss it. This along with my love for science helped me in choosing to become a registered nurse.
I have a really good supporting cast behind me. My wife, Jennifer, is my rock. She is there rooting me on, telling me that I can do this. Without her, I am not sure I would have taken on this daunting task of going back to school again so many years later. My mindset towards English this time around is much different. I am not letting my past bad experiences such as miserable teachers, not caring or the fear of failure hold me back. Being in class these last few weeks, I realized that English is not so bad and I will get over the fear of writing papers and public speaking. I plan to also keep this mindset and the end goal in mind in case I come across any difficult classes in the future.
Now that I am older, I see what I need to do to support my family. I have learned from my mistakes and know that if I do not take English seriously, it will be a pretty expensive mistake. I do not want to disappoint anyone, I want everyone to be proud of me. When I finish college and look back I want to be proud of what I accomplished and years from now explain to my kids that hard work pays off and that no matter the issue you may have with a certain class, just put forth your best work. I am happy that I figured out that school is important to my future and hope that one day I can help drive my kids to know how important it is also.