Trials and Tribulations: A Mother, A Student, A Employeecsudhbulletin May 5, 2021 0 COMMENTS
After studying for my bachelor’s degree for the last 10 years, I won’t be walking to the stage to accept that diploma by myself; my child will be with me every step of the way. Photo by Desiree Lee.
By Desiree Lee, Staff Reporter
Palms sweating, heavy breathing and endless nights that drift off into nightmares of what needs to be done before graduation. Every senior on the verge of graduating has the moment of clarity where they realize that this is it. That feeling of, “I did it.”
In life, there are little moments of impact that make us into who we are. College life hasn’t been easy but after many highs and lows, I am finally graduating in May. I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations, from struggling to get into a university to learn that I would be having a child unexpectedly.
Right before freshman year in 2011, I received a letter from California State University, Dominguez Hills saying I was rescinded. As I collapsed onto my knees, my mother found me shaking. Handing her the letter, I asked her, “what do they mean rescinded?”
I learned that I did not pass my Spanish final by 1%. I graduated highschool with a C- and therefore did not qualify to attend CSUDH. Admissions told me that I could fight it, but it could take years.
I felt humiliated. All of my high school friends would be attending university within the week and I felt left behind. I couldn’t speak to anyone for two days and the stress had caused me to develop Bell’s Palsy on the right side of my face.
Later that week, I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw. Not because the right side of my face was twisted, but because I saw an empty shell. I did not see the strong young woman who graduated high school with various awards in poetry, science and athletics.
A moment of impact.
I took a deep breath and instead set my sights on attending Cerritos Community College and transferring to CSUDH. After a couple of years at CCC, I was excelling in my writing and I graduated with an Associate of Art in English. The following semester I was accepted into CSUDH and it finally felt like everything was falling into place.
Once I stepped onto the CSUDH campus in the fall of 2016, I kissed my planner. At that moment, I felt that my hard work and emotional turmoil paid off. Little did I know that once again, my life would take another turn. While I loved being an English major, I hit a wall. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in English and I felt like I was just going through the motions.
At a bigger campus, I felt that my voice was lost. Some days I would find myself not attending class and my papers that were once the best in class at Cerritos College were not cutting it at the university level.
A year went by and I had no drive for anything, whether it was my classes or even making friends. With my grades slipping, I ended up on academic probation more than once. I felt like I had lost myself. Then one day, a student approached me. He had noticed that I was always alone and thought that maybe I would rather talk to someone instead of always watching Netflix.
Again, I felt a moment of impact.
The student had asked me to assist him in filming a commercial as a part of a marketing campaign for his public relations class. I only held some reflectors but the spark that I had lost came back to life. It took me sitting in on a few public relations and journalism classes before I officially switched my major to Journalism in the fall 2018 semester.
After living through an unfortunate circumstance such as Covid-19, I was ready for 2021 to be a new start. Little did I know the final impact of my life was going to come at me unexpectedly.
Come May, after 10 years of pursuing my degree, I will be the first person to graduate college in my family. However, I won’t be alone. I’ll be walking with my child who has been growing within me for the last six months.
Most women that have been wanting a family would be more than happy to see the word pregnant on their pregnancy test. I wasn’t ready for a family. I was conflicted, stuck between being happy and scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was working full-time in the hospitality field and I was attending school full-time.
There were some days that I would find myself falling apart. I had missed classes and assignments because I had to keep up with work while caring for the life growing inside of me. This was the most challenging part of my life.
One thing that is different now is my life is no longer my own. Every day that I want to give up, but I am always reminded of who is depending on me to trudge on and succeed just by feeling the little kicks inside my belly.
In July my child will be born, and as the days start to grow closer I can feel our bond growing stronger. Day by day I am setting up my child’s future, and one day I will be able to tell them this story and how they were the final moment of impact in this chapter of my life. I will be able to tell my child of all the obstacles that I had to overcome to be where I am today, to show them to never give up, no matter what happens or what challenges they may face.
A Final Moment of Impact.