"Community College Instills Confidence"

By Jeanne Meyers, Kaskaskia College
Honorable Mention, 2004 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest

As I approach the steps of Kaskaskia College, I am overcome with a feeling of doubt. "What am I doing here?" I thought. It has been 27 years since my body last occupied a desk in a classroom. But that was high school; that was another life; that was when I thought of school as a waste of time. So here I stand in the looming shadow of an intimidating metropolis, feeling quite insignificant, somewhat insecure, and suddenly very alone, yet there was that spark of excitement for the unknown. That spark was all it took to ignite the fire of desire to learn that had been snuffed for so long while I was busy making a living, but due to work-related injuries, I lost my job. With the old saying "when one door closes, another one opens" in mind, I was ready to open that door. I took a deep breath, reached for the door handle, and opened the portal to a whole new and exciting world. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Everyone was busy but not too busy to notice me, and I was soon walked through the entire process of registering for school.

Each semester my self-confidence grows and now, as I am advancing near the school, the buildings seem to envelope me in a warm, welcoming embrace. I can't wait to see all of my friends from the previous semesters, and I am filled with the anticipation of meeting new ones. I am thoroughly enjoying my life as a college student, and I feel 10 years younger my husband affectionately accuses me of being in my second childhood. After working all of my life and raising twins, I have to admit that it feels good to be Jeanne, rather than Mom or just another dockhand at UPS. The feeling of expressing ideas and having someone listen to them is enthralling to say the least.

I am now in the middle of my fourth semester, feeling confident with my school work and taking my education seriously. It seems that each semester I have redefined myself, metamorphosing from the insecure woman who was unsure of her capabilities into the self-confident student that I have become. Today, as I approach school, I feel big enough to reach my arms around those brick buildings and squeeze them in a great big hug, absorbing all of the knowledge contained within its walls.

At times I have wondered why I had been so apprehensive about coming back to school, and I have wished that I had started my higher education sooner, but then I realized that now is that right time for me, and I intend to make the most of it. My community college has given me the confidence to succeed.

Illinois Community College Trustees Association
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
217-528-2858 (phone)
217-528-8662 (fax)
ICCTA@communitycolleges.org (e-mail)

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