As I grow older and live new experiences, I realize how my childhood and God led me to the circumstance I am now, which is my last semester of nursing school. I come to appreciate my mother’s hard work to get me through school as well as through life. Growing up in a low-income family in Los Angeles, California with a dad who was a full-time alcoholic and drug addict, was not a good circumstance to grow up. My mother did not speak English or had a job and believed that a married woman is to fully depend on her husband. There were times when my 2 siblings and I had nothing to eat since my dad barely came home with money after spending it all on alcohol and drugs. Due to this living situation and the fact that I was the oldest child, I felt the strong responsibility to drop out of school once I was old enough to work. Education was not an option in my future. Since we didn’t have much money, my mom signed my siblings and me to free afterschool programs at my local Catholic church, so we could learn more about our religion and the importance of God in our lives. I remember my excitement to wake up early Sunday mornings to get ready for mass, even though it took 2 bus routes to get to church. I learned from nuns and priests the importance of caring for others as if they were my own family because everyone deserves the same type of care. Caring was something I learned through religion, and not something I was born knowing. As a way to start fresh, my dad decided to move us to
In my younger years, I was constantly reminded by my family, teachers and peers about the significance of spreading joy. I started to equate joy with making people smile. Inevitably, those childhood reminders and mindset helped manifest my adult aspirations. It has now become my aspiration to continuously experience joyous occasions when the beauty of genuine happiness is reflected through a confident, vivacious smile. However, growing up in Cameroon, I was not sure how this aspiration could be manifested into an actual profession. Upon moving to the United States, I had one of the most memorable experiences in an unexpected place, the dentist office; it awoke a hidden passion and desire in me. I never thought that sitting at a dentist office for over an hour would have such a great impact on my life. I never felt the stark confidence to allow joy to fully shine through my seemingly crooked smile, until my experience with Dr. Centty, the first dentist I ever encountered. She was very captivating and spoke in detail regarding brushing and maintaining a healthy smile. I was left astonished and felt a puzzling sense of joy and pride that I still feel until this day when Dr. Centty fixed my chipped tooth. It surprised me that a chipped tooth that made me self-conscious for over five years was taken care of so proficiently and gave me a reason to smile more often. Smiling may seem small, but a smile can change a person’s life. My smile changed that day and this childhood
Aurora, Illinois, a suburb near Chicago with many hills, big and small, and many lakes, rivers, and ponds. The townhouse I lived in was quite noisy at times, thanks to mom and dad. Aside from all the parental chaos, home was home, purple chicken noodle soup and bike rides were what I looked forward to. I loved the landscape and how much of it there was, the sky was always so colorful, the fireflies lit up the city parks making the city seem magical in a way. Aurora was a city that was all about unity, everyone came together for events, clubs, and during tragedies. You would always see a group of people running the hills in matching shirts or a whole neighborhood celebrating someone's birthday.
Life. Have you ever mistaken a test a life or death situation? I have in 6th grade. I thought I’d do horrific in a science test, but who knew it would make me feel successful. It was the year 2015. Little 8 year old me would be amazed. After watching the movie 2012, I was wondering why hasn’t the world ended since 2012 went by. Now that it’s 2015, I wish that was true. It was 1st period science class. The sun had not yet raised up and high in the wonderful black and cloudy sky. All around me I could hear classmates bickering and yelling. I mean, that’s what kids do. I see people hanging out with their friends; I also see boyfriend and girlfriend hugging. The bell had rung like it was a siren for a war call, super loud. All the kids jolted to their seats; the teacher strolled in.
It is not too long ago that I decided to become a pharmacist. I lived in South Korea most of my life. Back then, I had no idea what I wanted to be other than thinking about immigrate to the United States. I had chance to visit my uncle’s college graduation when I was a little boy and I only dreamed about living in the U.S ever afterward. For example, I decided to go to nursing school simply because there are more chances to move to the U.S as a nurse. The problem was I did not do well in terms of academic performance because I only thought about how to move to the U.S. Additionally, I admitted to hospital couple of times because of a pneumothorax so my gpa bottomed out.
It was the last weekend of my summer vacation before entering senior year. All my life I have been spending my summer vacations in my beach house on Contadora Island, a small paradise off the coast of Panama. Everything on the island is joy and serenity. It had almost become a tradition for all the island residents to go spend the last weekend there. I had a very close friend who also had a house in Contadora. He was the most caring and gentle person I have ever met. I would regard him as an example of how people should treat others. He was always so considerate and friendly with everyone, no matter what. These were qualities that I did not see in myself at the time. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would criticize someone for not being or looking a certain way. Or I would not treat people with the corresponded respect they deserved. These were all things that Walter would try to change in me, with his caring and humble personality, but my arrogance would keep persisting. When it came to the formation of his professional self in academics, he always strived for more. He was the most ambitious, while I was a conformist with mediocre results. Coming back to this particular weekend, Walter had opted to spend it camping at a reservoir with another group of friends. The weekend on the island was very fun, even though he had not come. I woke up early on Sunday, it was February 28, 2016. Little did I know that this day would mark the rest of my days. I woke up early to enjoy my
I had only left the United States once before in my life. It was a small trip to London with my mother to visit a distant relative. It was a quick trip, maybe 3 or 4 days and I could hardly remember it because it was 12 years ago. I didn’t have much motivation to leave home again except for university. Until I got a call. On Wednesday, April 24th at exactly 3:37 pm I got a call from my aunt Kaasni. This was no ordinary phone call, as we normally had pre-organized phone calls every other Sunday evening and she hardly talked to me when I had school work. That was the deal with my parents after my father left – I could speak to my aunt who he lived with every other Sunday and on certain holidays. I picked up the phone and my father, drunk and hazy spoke. “Sasha my dear ba-ba-baby how are you,” he slurred “you know what, I think you should come spend some time with me, here in Calcutta, get a different taste of what life is like for your old man.” It took a moment for me to process what he had said – he wanted me to see him, after 15 years, he wanted me in his life again. Then I heard my auntie on the phone “Sasha? I am so sorry, your father drank a little too much. We are on holiday here and I hope he hasn’t disturbed you,” she said. “Oh no Auntie Kay, its fine,” I replied, still deep in thought. The line went silent for a moment as I heard her shush my intoxicated father while she held her palm to the phone. She picked up once again and continued apologizing until I
Throughout a person’s life, there can be many things, such as friends and family, education, or sports, that help them develop skills to turn them into the person they are today. Without these different skills, it can possibly lead to a lower standard of living, which is not what we strive for. The thing that helped me develop my unique skill set that I can use through the rest of my life, which is also my cultural artifact, is a football. Football has taught many different things that I am able to use during the rest of my college experience, and after that during my professional career. The different skills football has taught me is the value of friendship, self-motivation, and time management skills.
Growing up without parents at a young age was difficult. I didn’t understand why things happened the way they did and why no one was ever there to answer the many questions I had. Seeing the kids at school drawing their perfect house and family was almost too much to bear sometimes. All the school events, holidays, birthdays and activities always made me feel like I wasn’t whole. At a young age, I knew that I only had myself and with no parental support, it felt like the chances of succeeding were diminished. Without the love and support from a family, it's hard to stay on the right track and have the motivation to do better. I remember envying my peers because I so badly desired what they had. I had to learn how to overcome the jealousy while learning how to be independent. Being on my own taught me to appreciate what I had and how to make light of any situation that life may throw.
When I look at how different our lives were five months ago so many things run through my mind, “What could we have done differently?” “What could I have done differently?” The week of finals before the end of my junior year I wondered if bad things really do happen to good people, or if good people do bad things that put them into bad places.
My first semester as a college student is coming to an end. I remember moving in, scared of making friends and starting a new adventure. I remember wandering around like a lost sheep attempting to find the classrooms I would spend the next few months in. All this seems like it happened forever ago, but in reality, it was just three short months ago. Mid-semester, I recall beginning to countdown the weeks left. And now here I am. I made it.
When I was young, I struggled with honesty and openness in communication which made my life more difficult. My parents could not trust me, and I would lie without even thinking about it. I was not the best child in the world, and I did not always choose to look at the good side of things. That was before, before the divorce.
One hour later, and my life became changed forever. My loving and caring family I bonded with would no longer be the same. The long walks with my mom in the evening would soon become a distant memory. Decorating for the holidays was just around the corner and I would have to hang up the stocking on the chimney without her. The sweet, rich, chocolate brownies she made every Friday night would leave my taste buds empty. Her hugs that made me feel loved when I was sad would now be a thought in my head, and our long talks about growing up and finding my way would be cut short.
My life is a sailboat sailing through the sea. It is a sailboat because sometimes life can be an easy breeze and it feels like you have no worries and nothing else matters except the moment you are currently in. Although sometimes life can almost feel like you’re in the middle of a terrible storm in the ocean ; everything seems to be going wrong in every way. Once you finally get out of the storm, the sun starts peeking through the clouds; the waves become calm again and the cooling sea breeze hits your face ever so softly. Knowing that everything is going to be okay.
I woke up to the smell of crispy bacon and eggs racing through the house. I went to the kitchen to find a small white paper next to 2 bacon-egg cheese burritos and orange juice. I read the note and it said “ DEAR JONATHON , i am currently at the store getting stuff for the house ill see you later, LOVE MOM!!!” When i read it at first i kind of cringed but i just sat down and ate my burritos and they tasted so cheesey and crunchy it was awesome . Once i finished i went into the living room to listen to the radio. We live in a shaft in the middle of the forest and its never light because the trees but that doesn’t stop me from doing what i want to do, so I decided to go outside and play soccer by myself to waste some time. But out of the corner of my eye i saw a tall old creature with a long beard and a robe, he looked very warned out and tired. He walked over to me as slow as a slug, then i ran into my house because i got scared. Suddenly my face was inside a bag and i was being carried, so i screamed for my life “HEEEEEEEELLLLLLPPPPP!!!!IM BEING KIDNAPED HHEEELLLPPP!!” No one heard me because the nearest road is about 2 hours away. I woke up in a cave and saw a man mixing something in a huge pot over a fire , it smelt like dead rats piled up in a hole.