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Just Do It

Kim from New Jersey, GED Student

I refused to be a statistic. I grew up in Camden, NJ which has a drop out rate of over 50 percent. I wanted more for my life and was not going to settle. School was not challenging. I did not fit in, so I drifted. By the end of the tenth grade I wanted out. No money to go to a private school, so I just dropped out. People, including my own family, did not believe I could do it, so I had no support and limited encouragement. I had to figure out everything by myself, like financial aid and college applications. I did it, which sucked at the time, but it just made me stronger. It was my faith in God that pulled me through. I knew that he would do it for me. I dropped out at age 17. I got my GED certificate two months later. I started college a year later while my classmates were still in high school! I was able to start at a four year college. I was so lucky! I was having problems at home and needed to be away. In my junior year, I transferred to Rutgers University. I earned my BA in Sociology and my Master’s degree in Social Work. I was 24 years old and did more than some of my old classmates at the time and even now.

My friends don’t even know. I have moved on and it happened so long ago. I do not feel the need to explain myself to them or anyone. I did it and took full responsibility for my actions. I did not realize how hard it would be, but I just took it one day at a time.

My math skills were horrible. I had to take remedial classes that carried no academic credit, so I was behind. At times I feared that I would never make it, so I fell into a deep depression throughout my college years. I did not have friends from high school, so I was alone with no support my freshman year. I started from scratch on everything. Some classes were really tough for me, and it was a constant battle the whole time I was in college to stay ahead.

After I got my Masters, I went to work at different social work jobs. I eventually became a probation officer which is what I am still today. I’ve been in my profession for almost twelve years. My dropout days were so long ago. It’s been twenty years since I left high school, and I’ve never looked back. There’s no need to. The ironic part is that sometimes I run into some old classmates who are on probation, and some of them even finished high school! It’s not where you start in life, it’s how you finish.

Just do it! People will have their opinion, but it’s up to you to make a life for yourself. Do not look back or blame anyone. Success does not come without hard work. So just take it one semester at a time, and you’ll get to where you’re supposed to be. Sometimes you have to fail to succeed. Learn from your failures and press forward!

Just Do It

Kim from New Jersey, GED Student


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