Make Life About Today | By Kelva Ferrell

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Students have different stories of how they got where they are now. Young and old, those stories are shadows on their lives. Some go back to school to better themselves. Others do not take it seriously and go for other reasons. The road and path you choose are entirely up to you. Life is what you make. Do not wait too long to do what you should have done today.

Last year, I had an eye-opening event that changed my way of thinking. My mom, my best friend, was diagnosed with cancer. It was a hard journey to go through, but it changed my life in many ways. The most important thing that came from that was my learning that life is too short to put things off, whether it be a life-changing decision or something simple. We may not have tomorrow to do it. Life is too short to not take advantage of it.

My mother’s illness made me not only think of our relationship but my relationship with my daughter as well. The possibility of not having my mother in the future made me think about turning the tables. If it were me, would my daughter be okay? Have I set a good enough example for her that she would want to be like me? The answers to these questions that in time would be no. This led me to start my journey at Mountwest Community & Technical College.

Coming to register for my classes was one of the hardest days of my life. I was a nervous wreck. I knew this was going to be a new beginning for me, and I was very excited. At the same time, I kept thinking that I was not smart enough to do this, and I was going to fail miserably. The thought of not knowing anyone at this school scared me to death. When I walked through the doors, the atmosphere was great. It was nothing like I had expected.

The staff was so helpful. They were here to help get me through this new experience. They helped me get my financial aid worked out. The staff also told me about the Beacon program and encouraged me to give it a shot. It was for first-time students like me who had never been to college. The program is to help students reach their goals in school, assist them in any way possible, and make sure they stay focused. I knew right away that this program was right for me.

My first day of class was nothing like I had expected. My professors were dedicated individuals who were not just there for a paycheck, like the other teachers I had previously had. Their goal was to make sure I understood what they were teaching in every aspect. You could tell they did not want us to just pass the class. They all pushed me to be the best I could be. My classmates were very encouraging too. After the second week of class, I wondered why I had not done this a long time ago.

Every day I continued to go to Mountwest was a dream come true. I loved being back in school. The everyday challenge was a good change for me. I have met a lot of new people who all have the same goal as me. The goal to not only land a better paying job, but also open a new chapter to a better life. We all have that in common. My fellow students and I often talk about our dreams in life, along with where we came from and who we want to be. To me, this journey is about finding myself. I can see myself changing into the person I know I can be.

My first semester of college is just about over. Time has flown by so quickly. I have changed so much as a student as well as a person. Most importantly, I have something now that I never had before – confidence. I have straight As in all my classes. I have also made some new friends and study buddies along the way. There is no doubt in my mind this is where I am meant to be. Going back to school was the best decision I have ever made. I am so glad I am finally getting my dream life started.

Article was originally submitted as part of Mountwest’s College 101 course. 

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