As of today, my purpose in life is my education. I grew up in an environment where most of the people drop out of high school to work in the fields. I was told by my family to become something better than just another field worker. Years ago, I had a set-back or what I would call a realization that helped me believe in higher education.
I grew up in a very small and old-style kind of town in La Cruz, Mexico. In this town, kids go to high school and then they just start working in the fields. There haven’t been many people who go to college. As of today, there are only three people from my town who are attending college. Two of them are my cousins, and the other one is a good friend of the family named Alejandro. They leave town and only come back during vacations, just like me. I left my town at the age of ten. I had to leave my family and friends behind to pursue an education. There are many people who still tell me I can’t make it. Those very negative words are what make me try even harder to get a good education, just to put it in their face that I made it without their help.
I have I have always known that I wanted to be something, but I didn’t know exactly what. Then in 2007, I had a set-back that really made me think about what I wanted to become. I was in a really bad car accident in Mexico, where a friend who I had known since I was six years old died in my arms. At the age of sixteen, no one is supposed to see someone die in their hands. I had known him my whole life. This incident really made me think about what I wanted to be remembered for. Did I want to be remembered as just another kid who died in an accident, or as someone who did the best he could do to break away from the old traditions of my town, as someone with an education? Then and only then, I knew that school was the way to go. For me, school is not just a place where you get a degree. School for me is where I go to honor my friend, and my family so far away from me.
As if that wasn’t enough, this past February, I was reminded once again. Another good friend passed away in another car accident. The brother of my friend Alejandro is now paralyzed and probably blind in one eye. I was told about this last Wednesday. There is no thought in my mind that education is my getaway and the best way to honor myself and those whom I have lost.