Hello everyone! I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Brittany. I am a senior and will be graduating in May 2020. As part of my requirements to graduate I needed one more credit which was not offered by any class in the University. This is what ultimately led me in the direction to be apart of MyStory. I was informed of the initiative and fell in love with it. UAlbany Project MyStory offers extreme flexibility which is what I so truly needed due to the fact I am a mother of three small children. However, that is not the only reason for my excitement for being in this program. When I researched MyStory and realized I had an opportunity to reach out and have a chance of helping or inspiring, even one person through my blogs, I was overjoyed. I am a psychology major and I know it sounds so cliché but that is my passion in life. I want to be able to bring people joy or peace even if it is for a moment.
My desire to help others began with a desire to receive help. When I was a young child I suffered grave loses and disappointments. All I wanted was a role model, someone who would embrace me, see potential in me and help me achieve the things I desired. At that time, I wanted to be an archaeologist or lawyer. However, I was told that these dreams were not ever going to happen for me. I do not know whether those around me thought that I was too dumb or too unmotivated. I don’t know why I was told this. This may sound naïve, but based on what I was told I could not do, I believed that I was going to be a waitress when I grew up and not much else. Now there is nothing wrong with being a waitress, but there is something wrong with settling for anything because you simply do not believe in yourself.
So needless to say, I followed the path I saw in front of me. In my life, I have experienced every type of abuse – every type. My experiences ultimately led to a period of substance abuse. I played the role of degenerate very well. However, I knew I was meant to be more. Eventually, I started reaching out and asking questions on how to obtain an education. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that I did not even have a high school diploma and needed to obtain a GED. When I took the GED, my self esteem grew a little. The test was easy for me and I passed on my first attempt without studying. This is when I meant my two oldest sons’ father.
He was in college and helped to enroll. I was so happy. I never thought I would be in college. I always admired people attending college from the sidelines, while being simultaneously, fused with jealousy inside. Now it was my turn.
I began the semester excited, but so scared. I still did not think I was good enough to be there. After the first semester I felt so good about myself. I got into an honor society and made the Dean’s List. I was on top of the world. However, I was still living in a life of abuse. When I received my Associates degree, I felt so proud. I wanted to walk and get that degree since I had never finished anything in my life before. Unfortunately, I did not end up walking across the commencement stage. I was told that I was too old to be proud. Instead, I was supposed to be ashamed to have only gotten my Associates Degree.
I then internalized this, and domestic violence was now out of control. I left him and no longer pursued my education. This, sadly to say kept me prisoner inside my own mind for way to long.
One day, at my son’s football practice, I met a woman who also had children on the team. This was such a blessing. She had gone to a 4-year college and had a similar degree as the one I wanted to receive. We had similar past experiences and she encouraged me to go back. That night, I went onto the UAlbany website and applied. I never thought that I would get in, but I figured that I would apply and put it in God’s hands. Surprisingly I got accepted and began my bachelor’s degree.
I call this my miracle journey because that is exactly what it is. I have been so blessed. I now have a man who I am engaged to, who took on two children who are not his biological children. We also added a son to our growing family. With everything we have going on, he has sacrificed to allow me to pursue my dreams and is my personal cheerleader. I know that everyone does not have a support system due to my first-hand experience, however, there is help if you are willing to reach out and ask. My hope is that this blog will be able to help one person make one step towards change and follow their dreams. It is never to late to show the naysayers that you are worth it.
PLEASE NOTE: THE VIEWS OF OUR STUDENT BLOGGERS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE UALBANY ACADEMIC SUPPORT CENTER OR THE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND GLOBAL STRATEGY. THESE ARE THEIR STORIES – THEIR VOICES.
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