I Felt Like a Quitter!
Enough is enough!!! Hello, my name is Helen. Well, how should I start? As I was growing up in the southern part of Mississippi where there was very little books to go around in the classroom, my mother couldn’t read and write, so we had no help and also little good education. I had to study and do my homework on my own. Sometimes I was lost and really didn’t understand a lot of things.
Going into middle school, I was more into writing poems and drawing, as I can remember at that time. I think something really went wrong there. When I got in 11th grade, all the drawing & writing stopped. When I was 16, I was angry and very tired of my mom taking care of 9 children by herself, so one day I said enough is enough. I was in the 12th grade with only one class or, as they told me, one unit to finish school, so I took correspondence English 4, and started to work helping my mom. But, I lost focus, got caught up doing what young kids do, going out, partying. I thought that’s what you do when you start college, but for me it started early, and at 20, I had my first child.
School really didn’t hit me until one day I moved to Ohio, and I had a good friend, she worked for the state. She tried to get me a job there, so I went to fill out an application. So, when I made it to the high school part, I skpped that part, but somehow they called me for an interview. I went there in good spirits, didn’t know not having my high school diploma would prevent me from getting a job in this way or affect my life. I was embarrassed and ashamed, and it really made me feel bad about myself. Around this time, I decided to go back to school. I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child, though, so as you know, I said, “I’ll go next year.”
A year turns into 8 years, and in between I had a 3rd child. In 2006, a tragedy happened in my life. I lost my daughter. From there, it was like the path of my life turned to darkness, as you would say, downhill for a while. Till one day, I said, I have to be strong for my family. They need me, and I need them to keep me strong. Sometimes, it’s not for our understanding. I question things in my life. I even question my life. But, with the strength of God Lord Jesus Christ, I know with him, I can do all things. So, for the past two years, I’ve been just working and taking care of my family.
I finally said this is it, I’m going back to school. So, I’m supposed to start the first of the year, but I was the only adult in the house working with no help. I’ve really been struggling to take care of my family, and getting a GED would have helped, but with very little assistance, I really don’t have the time, too busy working and really I wasn’t flexible with my schedule and didn’t have a sitter. I was always tired and wasn’t motivated. And I don’t have the funds to start Colorado State Univ., so I decided to put it off.
I am so tired, being in and out of school. I feel like a quitter sometimes, and sitting here reading everyone’s story and what they’ve been through, I said to myself, enough is enough! I am going to get my GED and I am going to make something out of myself.
How have your friends and family helped you? My kids know how I feel about my education, so they always say, “Mom, you can do it. We believe in you.” That really makes me feel confident. I have to change my situation, change my life. So here I am. I have a dream.
What problems have you faced? One day, my 10-year-old daughter tells me she wants to be like me and she wants to work at Walmart when she grows up. Now, that really hurts. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I want my children to get a good education so they can have a brighter future. Who doesn’t want that for their children? What I’m trying to say is, I want to show my kids this is not where I want to be, and that I can do better than this. I need help in math: algebra, geometry, and data analysis. This is the last time I’m going for it.
What do you hope to achieve with your GED? I hope to gain self-confidence and my GED, and go to college for paralegal, to get a better paying job so I can put my children though school, and sit down and watch my grandchildren and just look forward to retirement in the future.
Sometimes sitting here watching High School Musical, my words of inspiriation from the children is, “Push it, push it to the limit. We’re in it to win, O yeah!” Thanks, Helen.