Starting Over - 08.19.2014

Tomorrow marks my first day of nursing school. I’m having trouble sleeping as usual but, this time, the feelings are mixture of both anxiousness and excitement.

From what my peers and instructors have been saying, this is a huge turning point that changes my life forever. However, I can’t help but be a little cautious about the result that will happen in two years time, especially considering my past academic record.

I graduated from UC Irvine almost three years ago but I find myself starting over again. In May, when my sister graduated from SDSU, I recalled my own commencement while sitting in the stands. I looked below at the hundreds of students in Viejas Arena energetic and proud of the moment they worked four hard years for. The faculty speaker delivered a speech and while I don’t remember it verbatim, certain phrases resonated deeply with me despite the roars of the crowd.

"…time of joy…to celebrate the accomplishments…meeting the challenges…success in the future…"

I teared up.

Rewinding back to 2011, I remembered hearing a similar speech on the floor of the Bren Events Center. Part of me was eagerly searching through the black shadow of the crowds for my family but the other part wanted to look down. I can’t really remember any other time that I have felt so out of place.

When my commencement speech was said, I felt alienated. None of those phrases applied to me. While everyone around me was jubilant, I felt that I was undeserving of that moment. For five years, I did enough to simply just get by. I looked down at the floor in shame. None of those phrases applied to my college career.

Three years later, I learned the hard way that a college degree doesn’t really guarantee a career; at best, it assists in finding a job. But that’s not what I wanted - not another job to add to my scatter plot of a resume.

The phrase “starting over” typically has a negative connotation because it infers rebuilding something valuable that had been destroyed. But in my case, it’s a fresh start. It’s a rebirth; a ticket out of this hard place I’ve settled myself in.

Tomorrow is simply the beginning to a long journey of redemption. It is an experience to restore self-worth, determine capability and establish identity. I’ve learned that the past is not something to dwell in and I don’t. But that doesn’t mean that it should be forgotten.

Someone famous once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and hoping that something different results. Although these ill memories still hover over me from daily, it reminds me to not let mistakes happen twice.