This I Believe

Justin - dartmouth, Massachusetts
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe

The things we believe are the foundation for how each and every person lives their life. I believe that in life you need to learn to roll with the punches life throws at you. Throughout my life I have experienced many things where I have felt as though I was Rocky fighting Mr. T. Getting my face blasted in and there was nothing I could do to protect myself. Never mind fight back. I realize I still have many years left in my life and it doesn’t get much easier. Life gets more and more complicated as you get older. The punches are going to keep coming and you need to be able to go with what life gives you. Make the best of what life throws at you and don’t be afraid to fight back.

For some people they tend to be more mentally mature than others at certain ages. I am one of those people. Since I was twelve I have always been hanging around with an older crowd do to the fact that I have an older brother that took me everywhere with him. At twelve I was hanging around with people five or more years older than me. This time last year I was a junior in high school not friends with many people in my school because most of my friends had already graduated. I found out about a program here at Johnson and Wales called the Access program where I could skip my senior year of high school. Through this program it allowed me to get back to an environment where I was with people that were older than me. This is where I am most comfortable.

Being here at college is great but many things have arisen that I knew would come up, but I didn’t realize just how difficult some of them would be to handle. Bills, work, school, and a happy social life are a lot to balance. I pay for almost all of my school along with all my bills. To pay for all these things I work about thirty five hours a week with school. There are many times that I feel overwhelmed with everything I have going on in my life. When I sit back and think about everything I am doing with my life I wouldn’t change a thing. This is where I want to be. I am getting the education that I need to be successful in life as quickly as possible. The faster I get my degree the faster I can get a real job and make real money.

Along the road of life you are going to deal with losses and setbacks that will hurt. I know I’ve lost a few people who I was very close with that are not here anymore. Dealing with this things and moving forward is what makes you who you are. Those punches that life hits you with leave permanent scars that stay with you for the rest of your life. They are the things that make life what it is; the unexpected is the best and worst part of life.

Just last month was the two year anniversary of one of my good friends passing away. Driving home after a football game with his sister a cheerleader for our school he started to get short of breath. After pulling over and getting out of the car trying to get air he collapsed and never got back up. I was supposed to meet him after he dropped his sister off so we could go out for the night. When I got the news I was devastated I had just seen him no more than a few hours earlier and he was fine. For him life hit him and he wasn’t able to get back up. You always have to keep your guard up because life is relentless and will hit you when your least expecting it.

One of the greatest fighters I have ever known was my grandmother. She was the grandmother you see in the movies. She was a retired school nurse that always had an answer to any problem that you had. She always knew what to say or do to make you feel like nothing could stop you. At sixty nine she was diagnosed with cancer and given a year to two years to live. Two years passed she was still here, five years, still here. The woman who was only supposed to live for two more years lived for ten after she was diagnosed. She kept getting knocked down but she kept getting back up. She stayed around long enough to see my aunt, her daughter get married; along with my cousin and little brother born. She was there for me on many occasions where no one else could have helped me. If I could live up to half the person she was I’ll be satisfied with my life.