Throughout my life, school has never been my forte. While I would consider myself smart, the classroom setting has not been somewhere I have excelled. My grades normally sat around a B/C average with no real improvements being made. I had periods of time where I disliked school, the biggest example of this was in middle school. My time spent there was filled with bad experiences. Those bad times include my best friend being diagnosed with leukemia to being suspended for a fight I never threw a punch in; mostly bad memories remain. All these memories served as distractions that prevented me from achieving my full academic potential.  If I never step foot in that school again, it will be too soon. High school ended up being much better for me. Being given a fresh start and having matured over the years, I was excited to not have my old reputation stick around. Through high school sports and becoming more outgoing, people who used to avoid me started to realize who exactly I was and became friends with me. This was a double-edged sword. While I became more social, it made me even more distracted me from my work.

It’s a struggle to shed an unfairly built reputation while living in a small town. My graduating class was roughly 180 students. With the class size so tiny, everyone knew each other and had for almost a decade. Finding new friends was very hard due to how fast information spread in the school and town. As I matured, I started to care less about what people thought of me. This enabled me to focus on school as I no longer cared who thought I was cool. This helped me develop as an adult and realize the only thing that matters is how I feel about myself and achieving my goals. I had always wanted to go to college and realized in order to achieve this, I needed to throw out everything superficial.

Getting along with people wasn’t the only issue I had when I was in middle and high school. As I mentioned before, my grades were a huge struggle. Tests have been my downfall as long as I can remember. No matter how much I studied, the moment the test was handed out, it all left my mind. This led to me being a B or C student most of my life. That all changed my senior year of high school. This led me to decide county college was for me as I knew it gave me a fresh start to improve on my educational habits. I knew my GPA wasn’t good enough to go where I wanted, and I didn’t believe I was ready to live somewhere else.

Upon arriving at Middlesex County College, my situation improved even more.  Without the distractions of having to fake being friends with people and worrying about what they think about me, I was able to focus solely on my education and getting to a better college. When I got my first Dean’s List notice, I was in shock. I had to triple check my e-mail just to make sure it wasn’t spam. Three semesters later, I have a 3.59 GPA and am being offered scholarships by other schools. If anything, my story shows dedication can make enough difference to get you whatever you desire.

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