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Victoria College gives student new hope

By BY DAVID PETTY
May 28, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.

David Petty

The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from the Victoria College "What's Your Story?" scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, "How has Victoria College changed your life?" Winners of the contest, who will receive a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation, will have their essays published last. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

College has surpassed all expectations of what I had assumed it would be like. Though it brings about many challenges, it also allows opportunity for achievement. Victoria College has changed my life by giving me hope to succeed, instilling in me a new understanding of life itself, and strengthening my confidence to achieve the unachievable. There is no amount of gratitude that I could give to repay the innumerable values that Victoria College and its professors have engrained into me.

One way Victoria College has changed my life is by giving me hope to succeed. Attending college at the age of thirty-three went against my mind-set that it is too late to change now. My education meant very little to me coming from a family where my father had only an eighth grade education, my brother a tenth grade education, and, of course, I followed by only completing the eleventh grade. Unfortunately, that led me to think that hands-on experience trumped "a stupid piece of paper." With that mentality, I literally backed my family and myself into a comer by entrusting my financial future to my unstable career as an oilfield mechanic. Being constantly overlooked for promotions for someone with a degree caused me to falsely stereotype college graduates as "little rich boys who never had to work hard." Although I had the luxury of owning several small businesses, I now realize their failure stemmed from my lack of hope to succeed, which Victoria College has now given me.

In addition to giving me hope to succeed, Victoria College has also instilled in me a clearer understanding of life itself. This new revelation is something I now hold dear following a bout of severe depression and a near suicide attempt that ultimately steered me toward this new change in life. First, Victoria College has taught me about how the body works, which has allowed me to cope with people and situations in a more intelligent manner. Simply by understanding how and why the body works the way it does has positively influenced my interpersonal communication with others. With this new understanding of life, I am more willing to accept the unchangeable and now enjoy learning about the human body and its many wondrous functions and abilities. I also feel I am more capable of dealing with difficult situations, which is very helpful when I have a teenage daughter as I do. I can now help others cope with stress, an area in which I straggled before college. Our life is what we make of it, regardless of the good or bad outcome. Yes, I agree some situations seem unavoidable, but Victoria College has taught me the way in which I deal with those negative situations is solely up to me.

Finally, by gaining the hope to succeed and understanding life more clearly, Victoria College has also given me the confidence to achieve the unachievable. Before college, I always felt like I had a cap, per say, on what I could achieve. If only I knew then what I know now, my life would be much more prosperous. In the past, a job was nothing more than that, and I only put forth the effort that was expected. My feeling of reaching a peak hindered me, so when I reached that so-called peak, my effort to exceed plateaued. However, Victoria College has changed my thinking and has encouraged me to strive for perfection. I currently hold a 4.0 GPA and am a member of the Zeta Gamma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which is a dream come true and an overwhelming boost in self-esteem. High school did not interest me and I wanted nothing more than to stay away from it. Ironically, once again, Victoria College encouraged my will to achieve and has given me the desire to continue my education. I not only want to succeed at Victoria College but surpass my original goals.

Ultimately, Victoria College has released the ball and chain that I had placed on myself. Bestowing in me a hope to succeed, instilling in me an understanding of life, and giving me the confidence to achieve the unachievable is a debt I can never repay. I will uphold the professional and dedicated spirit that Victoria College has shown me by serving my community and encouraging others who may also need a new hope.

David Petty, 33, graduated from Cuero High School and is planning to apply to VC's Physical Therapist Assistant Program. His essay is one of the three winning entries.

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