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Before Moving to Richmond

Before Moving to Richmond 

Going to school was not all I was expecting it to be. The struggles, trials and tribulations, and even failed relationships were just the beginnings of my adulthood. The inevitable rush from high school to adulthood was never a perfect step and from the inside, I have grown since those days. College and work were what filled my days and it would be the same for a lot of my peers as well. 


Before graduating from high school, I had a meeting with my parents and DARS to discuss what the working world would look like to me. It was not something I grasped easily and felt more like I was lost. I wish I had advocated for my confusion in those moments and sought clarity more so than anything else. During that time, I went through the training to get me ready for the work force. Applying for jobs was tedious but having someone there who understood the nuances of the applications and could help me took a lot of the pressures off me. My dad also aided me in creating my resume so that I could apply for positions. I would explain to him what I wanted it to say, and he would put it in a short phrase that would help me stand out to the companies. 


I used to volunteer a week or so of my summers to help my neighbor look after her cat. The cat enjoyed my company, and I was learning how to manage my time and prioritize what was necessary in the time I would go over to her house. My first paid job was at a bookstore, and it was a good spot for a starting job. I learned how to stock shelves, scan books to see if they were out of date, check people out for their books, contact people to pick up their books, and many other details. I preferred it when they had the calendar store open as it was a place where I could just get away from others and relax a bit and put calendars out on the floor. The bookstore was a good place to get to know how to help people out and try to help our community. 


Going to college was a difficult experience for me. I had no idea where I wanted to go in the future, but I knew I didn’t want to stay in retail for the rest of my life. The general direction was agreed upon by both my dad and me. I didn’t do well overall and just stuck to working afterwards. I struggled with time management regarding balancing academics and my personal life; and prioritizing social outings and time spent with my significant other over school assignments and due dates. My progress and grades suffered tremendously due to that. The things that supported me throughout regular schooling dropped when I left high school. The educational relationships with students and teachers weren’t the same as they had been during my earlier school days. My communication skills were lacking, and I struggled advocating for what I needed throughout the semesters without knowing how to express myself properly. There was no IEP or anything I could fall back on if I messed up. Personally, I preferred not sticking out too much; however, I did write letters to give to my teachers to explain what I have and how I needed help. The kindest teachers would pull me out of class and discuss the matter with me privately so the other students wouldn’t know the issue unless I wanted them to. 


I knew where I wanted to go in life, the problem was if I could achieve it. I still struggle with motivating myself, but I’m still hoping to be able to reach that goal. But if not, there’s other ventures I might dabble in. I tried my first venture into horticulture and decorating a bouquet for my boyfriend’s mom for Mother’s Day this year. It was an adventure in understanding what I was and am capable of. I refuse to limit myself to what others’ beliefs are about me. 

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