What's Your Story: Victoria College gave student second chance
"Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future."
- Fulton Oursler
This is the thought that I woke up to every day for five years. I was stuck. Going forward was too scary, and thinking about the past was way too depressing - but I did. Every day, I woke up to regret and fear. I was afraid of where I would be in 10 years; would I be at the same job, doing the same thing, working from paycheck to paycheck? The fear keeping me frozen in place stemmed from the regret of the past.
I didn't apply myself the way I could have in high school. I was always a good student but never truly went above and beyond. I kept to myself and rarely got involved. I had regret for my first attempt at Victoria College in 2004-05, where I kept the same attitude from high school - do the minimum, keep to myself - however, this time the grades weren't the same. I no longer had "As" and "Bs." Instead, I was looking at "Cs," even an "F," and decided to give up and quit. I regretted that if I had worked harder in high school, I would be at a four-year university. If I had not quit VC, I would have graduated by now with a career. Victoria College has changed my life because this statement no longer holds true.
The nearly five years I was away from VC, I worked for the same retailer I still work for today. For those five years, there was not a day I was not asked when I was going back; many of my closest friends have or still work there today. I would always say, "I'm going back next semester." That was my mantra. However, they weren't alone; I heard it from home as well. Finally, a friend, who was getting ready to go to college for the first time, grabbed me and literally pushed me off the cliff. In less than a month, I went from saying "next semester" to my first day of class.
I was determined not to make the same mistakes, and I knew part of that was going to be getting more involved. I needed to have a real college experience, so as many of us do, I was informed by the "News Flush" about the VC Film Club. Things began to fall into place. I was volunteering for school events; I was actually studying for hours, locked away on the third floor of the library; and the semesters began to go by quickly. I realized how much I loved to write, and how much I missed it. I was introduced to the misadventures of Edgar Allan Poe and literally wept in class with my professor over a poem in British Literature. I met challenges head-on. When it came to math, I spent hours doing problems, refused to quit and realized a "B" is something to be proud of but also realized my major should probably change to something I love, English, rather than something I know, business. I met a secret Broadway star merely posing as a history professor who changed my life. The only "F" I have on my record is for history, and now I can proudly say I'm a supplemental instructor for History 1301.
I have also found my key to the future. Last semester, I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and was introduced to yet another group, who showed me the possibilities to learn and succeed, to travel and meet people from around the world all different yet absolutely the same. We are all using a two-year college as a stepping stone to our future.
So VC has changed my life because that quote above no longer rules it. I have absolutely no regrets in the past; the mistakes I made lead me to this school at this moment. I am a better person because of my past. Most importantly, I am no longer afraid of my future. In fact, I can honestly say I'm rather confident; I am more than prepared and absolutely ready for the challenges ahead. So I would like to say thank you because that would be the only regret I would have if I didn't get the chance to thank all who have impacted my life and made me who I am today. Thank you. You have truly changed my life.
Marisela Campos lives in Victoria and is studying English at Victoria College.