In August of 2006, my mother was getting divorced again and my father was remarrying. Both of these events occurred within the same week and were the basis of what would occur throughout my senior year at Bear Creek High School. The year was full of opposites; we struggled financially at my mom’s house, while it was a power struggle at my dad’s. I joined the United States Marine Corps ROTC program hoping to become a Recon Ranger, the marine’s equivalent to the Navy Seals. Being a “Devil Dog” was my life’s dream.
I believe that people need to follow their dreams, never give up on them, but if for some reason those dreams become truly impossible, then we must make new dreams and keep after them with the same intensity.
I won’t describe the details of my senior year too much; many things that were regrettable and inevitable happened. I did a lot of partying, instead of studying, but not everything was my choice. My grandmother passed away right around finals time, so my family and I went back out to Illinois for the funeral and I ended up not being able to graduate. In order to be a United States Marine, you have to have a high school diploma. They will not accept a GED. So, on May 27, 2007, I watched as my peers crossed the stage in Red Rocks Amphitheater and knew that my dream was gone.
I was crushed, lost, confused, and had feelings of worthlessness. But then I realized that life does go on. My buddy and I had always talked about starting our own surf shop in Lahina, Hawaii. I realized this could be my chance to accomplish my dream. I got my GED and after a long, hard struggle, I was accepted into Union College.
The main reason I chose Union College was because one of my best friends is coming here as well. It will be a challenge for me at Union because I don’t really like school, but also it’s a private institution, and I do not have a lot of money for it. It was hard for me to leave everyone behind, even though Colorado is not that far from Lincoln, Nebraska. Also, I don’t know anybody else here really, so it is always hard to be the “new kid” again.
Union College has some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life, and everyone is eager to help at the drop of a hat. It is a struggle for me because I am not an Adventist, so I have many conflicting views with the college. It is hard to sit in some classes and have a teacher teach the opposite of what I believe. For example, I believe in evolution, but, being a Christian school, most believe in creation, but I know that a degree from Union will be one of the best ways to achieve my goal of opening our shop.
I know that I have a long four years ahead of me, but it will be well worth it when my dream can come true. After going through that feeling of having my Marine Corps dream shattered, I wasn’t sure I could go on, but I made a new dream and am following it just as passionately. I believe that pursuing dreams is one of the most important aspects of life.
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