by Anna Talcott, 2019 College of Business senior and Colloquium marketing intern
We all have those days where we open our pantries and refrigerators only to see the most bare bones of ingredients; the only items left being an assortment of random products. You decide to put off grocery shopping and just wing it, attempting to put those products together to create a well-balanced meal. While it can be a challenge requiring creativity and thoughtfulness, the process of transforming random and perhaps less-than-ideal ingredients into a complete and beautiful meal is extremely rewarding.
In life, we are all made up of different ingredients… of circumstances, experiences, aspirations, hardships and successes. Where we are born, the family we enter, our economic class, generation, demographics
and so much more are things we have to work with every day. Some are born into harder circumstances and experience more hardships than others. These tough circumstances may make you feel like you will never reach your goals, or that you are a step behind others.
What is my story? While my struggles were nothing compared to what many others go through, I will say that I am currently living a future that was hard for me to see when I was younger. I had to grow up fast and early, where I was a part of conversations and worries that a lot of my peers could not relate to. It was hard and demotivating when I felt confined by my environment, not allowing me the time or energy to think beyond the day or week, let alone my future. Many would use my experiences as justification to put towards a more negative lifestyle. Though it seems easier that way at times, it only constrains you more. If I could sum up my perspective of the situations, conversations, and hardships that I endured in my younger years, it would be that I am thankful. I am thankful for the knowledge and perspectives that I gained by being observant and inquisitive.
I attained skills that have only been an advantage as I have evolved as a person, student, and worker from having to learn to work with few resources, money, and support.
I am now a self-supported college student because of a creative, innovative, and continuous desire to learn and grow. I have evolved and am building a successful life for myself, despite tough circumstances. I have learned to seek opportunity, network, work with others, and balance many life acts between multiple jobs, internships, and being a full-time student. I have become more confident, fiscally responsible, and optimistic.
This happened all because I decided not to let my less-than-ideal conditions define me and ask for help in the process. My experiences have given me the confidence to see myself as capable and qualified for future career and life opportunities that seemed so out of reach only years ago.
My Dad told me once, “Whatever struggles you are going through…… use every bit of them as motivation to not only prove people wrong, but to be an example for those in similar situations.” I think of this when I’m driving from my first job to my second job, or when I’m working at my internship, or when putting together yet another randomly constructed meal from my bare-bones fridge, as I’m trying to save money for my future, which I now see has endless possibilities.