Homeless to becoming a College Student
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Facing fear of pre-judgement
There was a fear that I had of the fact that people would judge me for what I had been going through with my home domestic situation of living in a homeless shelter.
So I decided not to really talk much about where I currently resided, because I really felt uncomfortable with the possibility of being labeled by my peers. This was definitely a dilemma I figured I would try to slip to the back of my mind.
Transition to Dorm Life in NYC
I went to college back when college was truly a fun experience, people wasn't losing their minds, & doing harm to themselves or others back then due to the harsh survival stats today with the economy and all.
It was the year 1993, and I was 18 years old at the time, these times had their up's & downs for me & my family in particular. I was somewhat forced to drag my clothing through the city trains in a shopping cart, it definitely felt embarrassing, but I am proud to speak about it today.
Now this might all sound kinda lame compared to today's stories of survival, but this is my true experience. On levels of authenticity this hub should hit a pretty high score with folks here, considering the fact that I'm pulling this one out of my actual life experiences as a youth.
Now back to the subway trains, I was actually a very poor student financially, so I couldn't afford to be driven to college like many people get to see on these Hollywood silver screen movies, when they seem to always display some rich or middle class student being valet parked right in front of their college dorm for the first time.
I really had to hustle my butt off just to get to the dorms, my mom & brothers were residing in a homeless shelter where I pretty much felt relieved to escape from. On that train ride to school I really had some deep revealing thoughts about what was actually in occurrence, each second that ticked by I keep thinking wow, I just gotta put my homeless experience behind me.
This was my ride & 242nd Vancourtland Park was final Destination
This train ride was one to remember
From the very moment when the Train came to a complete stop I suddenly knew it was time for me to let my anxious thoughts reside, and I had to get moving. College is huge, I had thought to myself at that moment, and started to replace my thought's of feeling embarrassed into thoughts of achievement. This stirred something in me that I never ever had before, which is my motive force for generating my efforts today. I knew I had to prove to the world that I was built for success, so I picked my sorry expressions up began smiling and left that train with pride.
What a train ride that was, I couldn't believe my eye's when I finished dragging my worn down shopping cart. The vision of a long hill till victory, and the shiny roadway from passing vehicles head lights. There were like 5 bars, and a pizza shop located at the bottom of the train steps & a huge city park across on the right of the street side I had comfortably positioned my cart at.
This was the beginning of an extraordinary journey through a place they call Manhattan College, located on Riverdale, Bronx New York. I hurried up the long hill moving at a steady pace making sure not to rush, because my stuff was almost falling out of that old shopping cart. I just wanted to get to the dorm room, & I really didn't wanna see anyone there yet. I was in hope that no one would see me arrive, even though I stopped worrying about the fact that I just left a homeless shelter to move into the college dorms.
Meeting My first Roomate - Settling my worries
When I stepped foot into the dorm room, I was amazed at the difference in the amount of space I now had, compared to that of the room in the homeless shelter. It felt like a castle filled with all the amenities that one would have in such a luxurious structure for a king to reside in.
My very first roomate was a droopy kinda guy, who seemed kinda like a loner. I use to wonder what was his childhood like, one thing I did know is that he wasn't all there, he use to smell like beer when he would walk by me, so I assumed he was a drunkard student.
Go figure, most college students drink like whales, even more then military personnel.
These first few steps into the domain of the dorm room, would eventually become my study space, and sanctuary for at least the next 9 months. All the experiences I had previously to that very moment, felt like it had rushed into my head like a shot of adrenalin, hitting the back of my spine.
I had finally acknowledged the fact that making it to college was no-longer an obstacle, the new obstacle became realized simultaneously, that I now had a new mission to academically & socially survive college.
Family outlook & encouragement
For my family this accomplishment was something to be regarded as a sorta celebrity level status, as being similar to landing on the moon for Niel Armstrong & his Nasa space team when they took their first steps on it the marvel of a constellation.
My accomplishments in college, became a sorta trophy I could finally be proud of wearing, just as if I was some great known person in the world like Albert Einstein, & it made me feel wonderful to know it was me that done it.
I always dreamed of the day I would make it to college, when me & my family was actually living in a stabilized housing environment one bed room apartment, we were still poor, but we wasn't always homeless.
This experience was the most humbling one I ever had, because the only thing I had control over was my choice to follow through & challenge the education system further, to grant me access into the adult life of successful career paying jobs.
I will continue this hub in a multilevel group that expresses the full 4 year collegiate experience I had so people can catch a different glimpse from the perspective of a student who had the heart of a Lion, & the patience of a Tortoise.