This I Believe

Connie - Terrytown, Louisiana
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

One More Chance

Since middle school, my heart was set for one college. I could tell simply by looking at a brochure that this school had an ambience like no other university. The old Catholic architectural buildings with stained glass windows was inviting; even more was the mission of Jesuit tradition for students “to enjoy themselves while they learn.” My first chance setting foot on Loyola was after I received my high school diploma. I believed this was the only chance I had at enrolling in Loyola.

I began college with naïve confidence. I thought college life would help me escape the troubles at home. My parents wanted me to stay in school and not work. That was impossible. I needed money for school and car insurance. My parents could barely support themselves. My attention never made it to class because I kept thinking about my parents and their belief of me in school with no job. I felt my four-year scholarship slipping away. Full-time school replaced full-time work. I deserted my dreams of a Loyola degree to help my parents in need.

Three years had past and my nine-to-five business days were becoming mundane. Somehow I knew my days were missing something. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Another ordinary day came. While training a new receptionist, I explained different ways to multi-task phone calls and walk-in customers. A co-worker overheard my discussions, pulled me aside, and said, “If you have strategies to work a receptionist desk, you will have strategies to study in school.” Someone who didn’t know me well gave me insight and strength. My strategy would be to keep my full-time job and attend night school. I finally started to believe in myself. Suddenly, I knew the “extra something” was an education. The lack of learning caused my soul to crave knowledge. My desk job put my educational desires to rest, but now my mind was ripe, ripe to crave knowledge. I had no doubt it was time to ring Loyola’s doorbell again.

With optimism and apprehension, I started the application process. It turned out to be long and tedious. It seemed that with every problem I resolved, a new one appeared, like jumping hurdles on a never ending track. I was pessimistic that Loyola would not open its doors to me again.

I hoped to be forgiven by the school I left behind. After what seemed like forever, my

notification letter finally arrived. I starred at this piece of mail, indecisive about whether to open it or not. I took a deep breath and decided to open the envelope slowly. I pulled the letter and I saw the word: Congratulations. I didn’t have to read further. I knew I was accepted into my dream school once again.

I learned that a part of life is making choices. Choices can neither be right or wrong.

I almost regret the choice of working and leaving behind school, but the choice lead me to a second chance.