So today I was filling out my scholarship application for the University of Michigan-Flint, a application that puts me in the running for 100's of scholarships out there. Part of the application is a 1000 word essay that has to be written. I just started writing and it came to me, all of it. Here is what I wrote and what will be read by the scholarship committees:
I am applying for the scholarships from the University of Michigan-Flint. At this time, I am currently pursuing a double major, a BSN in Nursing (I am currently in the Pre-Nursing program) and a BA in Psychology. My ultimate goal is to become a Psychiatric Nurse. In my time here at the university, I have found my persistence, my hard-work, determination and my service to be big factors in my continued education.
Life has many courses and changes that happen often, sometimes daily. And it has been these changes that have shaped me into the person I am today. These changes happened when I was in high school, when I lost both of my parents to cancer. I had to learn to live with another family and I also had to decide where I was going to finish my education and what I wanted to do with my life. I don't have that parental support that many people have at this time in their life, and it's my persistence, my want to do well for my parents, in essence to make them proud, which keeps me going for the goal. To be able to say that I'm a "college graduate" someday will be one of the proudest moments in my life, and I know that they will be proud, no matter where they are.
But my path changed a lot in my 3 years here at the University of Michigan-Flint. When I started here, I wanted to be a Music Educator. Music has been a big part of my life for a long time, but it wasn't until I started working at a non-profit camp, The Fowler Center for Outdoor Education, where I spent my summer working with the physically and mentally handicapped, that I learned I wanted to help those who can't help themselves. At this camp. I was able to meet so many people who don't have the easiest of life, but the little things make them the happiest people I have ever met. We all have our problems, but these campers have so many that we can't even imagine. I got to spend a week or two with some of the most amazing people I have met in my life. They always woke up with a smile on their face. They loved you without really knowing you.
Through my 10 weeks at The Fowler Center, I learned more about myself than I had in 19 years of my life. I also learned what makes me happy. Though the work is hard (I still work once a month at respite weekends and plan on working all summer long), at the end of the day I could lay down and say that I made a difference. Over the summer, I helped people who never thought they would ride a horse because they were wheel-chair bound, ride a rather large horse. I helped some climb a rock wall. I realized I wanted to help people, and came back to the university with the goal to get my degree in psychology.
I may have moved around a lot, trying to find a home for me, but in the end, I still come back to the University of Michigan-Flint because the professor's here love what they are doing and I continue to learn, and really learn, from them. Though I haven't really reached out to the school and joined any clubs, I am a team leader for the University sponsored Relay for Life that happens every April. This walk, which means a lot for me because of the impact that cancer has had on my life, is something I hold dear to my heart. As a team leader, I organize fundraisers to earn money for the American Cancer Society. I find this, with all my studies to be time consuming. All of this takes hard work and determination to reach my goals.
And I've set my goals rather high. With 2 majors, I added another year to my education here at the University. But, as some wouldn't do this, I feel it is the only way to learn about the human mind and also learn how to take care of those who can't. In becoming a Psychiatric Nurse, I can help those who didn't choose to be handicapped by a mental disease, but still show them the love that they deserve. People with mental disorders aren't monsters, they actually have a lot of love to show. I hope, sometime in my life, I can show at least one person who doesn't believe that statement and change the stigma that these individuals have.
So there you have it, all of these experiences have made me who I am today and have shaped me into the person I want to be. Along the way I have learned that a lot about myself, and have become a person who wants to go out and change the world for those who can't. I want to be a person to stick up for those who aren't allowed to voice their concerns. My education at the University of Michigan-Flint is just the first step to that goal.