My first semester in graduate school, I failed horribly.. Until I received my M.Ed. in 2016, I was embarrassed of this aspect of my life and have never made it known. I quietly shut my friends and my family out, I made rash impulses on jobs, apartments, and began to sink into a deep depression. Upon graduating in 2013, everyone knew that I was heading to North Carolina to pursue a higher education. The fact is, I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to take the risk of moving away to a new city, starting a new job or school like those memes suggest.
I remember arriving to North Carolina in August of 2013, on the Greyhound. All I had was $500 , suitcases waiting for me at the post office (that was ruined upon arrival), and the realization that this was very real. This was when anxiety and depression began to set in. As someone who always struggled with family dilemma, friendships, and relationships, I was used to being alone.My first year in graduate I spent holed up in my room, the library, ignoring places where I had to interact with people. I didn’t make much friends, nor did I have time. I was lost in a city that I talked about since I was a little girl.
My spring semester in graduate school, I switched programs. Again. This would make the third time I have switched programs and I was beginning to become overwhelmed with the thought that maybe graduate school just wasn’t for me. My financial aid was taken away from me, I had quit my job, and had to find a new apartment with absolutely no money. I had nothing except my dignity.
I questioned every decision of taking a risk without a backup plan. I had none, it the fear or returning home with failure on my back was just to great to bear. But as someone with a passionate and ambitious spirit, I had to tap into my inner self to not let a few no’s deter me from my ultimate goal. I quickly learned that the source of my strength comes from the hills above, and if I didn’t have anyone else to rely on, knowing that I gave it my all despite the outcomes gave me the ultimate confirmation that (It’s gon be alright!, K.Lamar voice).So I stopped holding on to the dream and plan that I have mapped out for myself. My path to education, to financial freedom, to sound stability is not the same as everyone else’s. If I haven’t taken the risk to move away, I wouldn’t recognize the woman I am today. I wouldn’t know how high I can jump, how to get over disappointments and betrayals, how to make something out of nothing.
4 years later and I’m still finding my purpose. I’ve finally received my M.Ed last year, after leaving my beloved graduate school that was doing more harm than good. I secured a job in my field, received my degree, and somehow gotten back on my feet. I turned away from those professors who said I would never receive a degree from their program, from those jobs who tried to out me, to the friends who betrayed me, and to my impulse decisions that shaped me into the woman I am today. As I look back on my decision to move away to a new city, I’ve realized that life has a grand way of kicking you down in order to build you up. You are meant to GROW through every situation, to LEARN from your mistakes, and to believe that your tests are your TESTIMONIES.
You are allowed to stumble. You are allowed to fall, and fall again, a dozen times. But the greater reward is high how you bounce when you fall. And when I continue to fall, I remember that God is within her, she will not fail. -Psalm 46:5
4 years later and I’m in a new city, ready to risk it all, and fall again.