There is always the thought in a 12th grader's mind who is about to graduate. That question being, “what will my life be like after I graduate”? It is a constant question and issue that faces the modern society we live in today. From 2019 to life currently as we know it, I was once that same kid who thought and wondered what life would throw my way. From family passings, financial awareness, an uneasy first-year semester, and building bonds with new people. This is the true life of a graduate after high school.
The struggle of a college student is a story universal throughout all college alum. Staying on campus causes many the discomfort of not being in their usual spaces, causing an internal discomfort or battle for a person. What I mean by a discomfort or a battle, is a situation that puts you in a place you’re not accustomed to. Universal discomforts of many college students include terrible roommates, bad nutrition, difficult classes, & even homesickness. But personally, my battles differ from many others. From dealing with the death of grandfather, who was a father figure to me.
"The youth are the future,
so the mark we leave,
is the example we set."
In 2018, the death of my grandfather was something that affected me subconsciously. Growing up he was one of the main male figures in my life. So, when you lose someone who your close to, it is like losing a piece of yourself. Another hurdle was having a stressed-out first semester having two bad grades, causing me to fail one class and withdrawing from the other. It was a loss situation to me, but it was something I took on the chin rather than having a meltdown and making a rash decision of dropping out of school. Figuring out how to keep a budget, this was to make sure I was able to keep money in my pockets. Wasn’t much of a newer experience, but I had to control my spending habits to maintain a good amount of money. The most wonderful of all was building bonds with new people. Meeting new people and learning how people act on different spectrums causes you to either have two thoughts. One is, you’ll accept them because they’re aligned with your ideas or morals. Or you grasp an understanding to distance yourself, sometimes even to the extremes of ending all communication with the individual(s).
Once you leap over your own personal hurdles, you will become a different person mentally, but these experiences will help you realize the real world away from home. With all these discomforts I faced one thing that kept me going was the idea of changing the narrative of men whom further their education. From the city where I reside, the chance of graduating is increasing from 48 percent five years ago to 68 percent as the class of 2020 has graduated. These are fantastic numbers for just the base education that a person needs in life. However, the numbers of males who receive a bachelor’s degree is only 46 percent. With only ten percent being African American males in the City of Rochester. This being one of the issues faced in the inner city today. The narrative of the Black male not wanting to pursue higher education, causing many to wonder why are things this way?
Life is like that of a plant, as were young were like seeds in the ground. Overtime, growing with the nutrients which shape the way the plant comes out, and the way the plant blossoms. The influences we have in life shape us to be the person we are today, whether a positive or negative influence they have helped us choose a path in life. Globally it is a known notion that children are heavily influenced by who they look up to as a role model. Having this type of influence on the young is something most take for granted. Many young Black men are not choosing higher education because they don’t have the right resources or role models. I plan to change that by receiving my degree in Journalism and Broadcasting, and continuously giving to youth whether it be financially, mentally, etc. I will keep the mindset of me at a younger age, and what I would have wanted someone to do for me.
The youth are the future so the mark we leave, is the example we set. I just want to be the most positive role model when it comes to the people who are younger around me. One thing all these hurdles have taught me is, you cannot set out to be perfect, but you can be yourself. Meaning it is okay to make mistakes if you have your own path your headed on. If you stay true to yourself and put yourself in flourishing positions you are a leader, not a lesson.
This article was written by special guest author, Dale Young. We hope you will find his insights, reflections, and voice as inspiring and meaningful as we do. Please do everything you can to support the voices of our future leaders like Dale by sharing this article far and wide.
We welcome all polite comments, encouragement, and thoughts from our readers.