The Meaning of College

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Victoria Bankowski
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People go to college for many reasons. But for me going to college has its own meaning. The most important part of college for me can be justified through a series of life changing events. I lived my life trying to figure out how to get by and I failed to realize I was “missing out”.  When I decided I wanted to go back to college I was nearly 50 years old. I felt it was not too late for me to start my life over again.   My children were grown and having children of their own.  For the first time in my life, I recognized I needed to do something for myself and I was determined to see it through.  

Fear of the unknown

The day I decided I was going to go to college was terrifying, yet so surreal. I first enrolled in community college in the summer of 2013 after the completion of a college preparation program offered by a Community Care program near my home.  I can vividly remember the first day of class. The reality of walking into a classroom for the first time is still one of the scariest moments of my life.  I wanted so desperately to succeed. Just two years later I would deliver the valedictory to the graduating class of my community college.   I am convinced that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. 

Focusing on perseverance

I reflect on my past as I am getting closer to achieving my goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree.  I remember a quote my first professor in the college preparatory program shared from Abraham Maslow: “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” Maslow’s quote gave me direction and a purpose despite the difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement I faced throughout my life. Through the words of Maslow I began to focus on the importance of perseverance even when faced with difficulty or little prospect of success.  

Looking ahead to success

I no longer feel ashamed of the choices I have made in life.  It no longer matters that I dropped out of school so young.  It is insignificant that I had difficulties learning, and that I couldn’t figure out the direction my life was heading.  Going back to college has saved my life.  College has taught me to believe in my abilities and I am now living my life knowing I can do anything I set my mind to.   

What does college mean to you? Please share with the Pearson Students community by commenting below!

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