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Still Here, Still Fighting



Well, that sucked.

Three years ago, I decided to return to school because my body couldn't pull 00 cables through underground conduit anymore. I was tired of my body coming home in pain and living off painkillers to function. Being a construction electrician was good money, but it took a toll on my body. My first significant improvement was moving from construction to maintenance, going from high to low voltage, and doing more controls instead of panels. That first semester of school coincided with this change and was a challenge until covid hit and all our sites shut down. 

We returned to work right after finals, and with a few months of sleeping and eating well under my belt, I was a sponge learning this new challenge. I took summer classes and managed to balance everything. And that's how the next two years went. I did my first in-person Lab for physics and met a guy from the DTD house who invited me to a summer party. The fraternity adopted me (making me an honorary) and generally made my fall semester unforgettable, taking an in-person lab for facility design.

Then, because I do everything backward (joining a frat my junior year of college), in what was supposed to be my 2nd to last semester, I took my 2nd science: chemistry. It only offered in-person lectures and in-person labs. In all my time in college, I had never done an in-person college lecture, only labs. It was a heavy lift, especially for someone with documented memory issues and severe ADHD. But I managed. I had to turn everything that wasn't school or work off for the three weeks before finals to prepare and ensure I had everything, but I did it. 

What I was not prepared for was the crash after finals. I hadn't just burned the candle at both ends; I'd blowtorched the candle until nothing was left. I came home from work the Tuesday after my last final, expecting to do dishes, laundry, and write. Instead, I slept on my couch until my alarm for work went off. I did the dishes on Wednesday before falling asleep on the couch. 

I've just had no energy, no focus, no nothing until the last few days. That said, the focus is intense; I've written nine pages.

I finished the semester with 2 A's worth six credits and 2 B's worth four credits (chem lecture and chem lab). I earned those grades when I didn't think it was possible. 

I was never a good student until I returned to college as an adult. I never thought anyone would read what I wrote and like it. I never considered myself an intelligent person. Now I'm a subject matter expert on several systems at work, I have people bugging me for chapters of a story I'm writing, and I have an overall college GPA of 3.4. I am more than I thought I was.

It's still a daily fight to push through, but I am still here. 

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The picture you have painted by writing about your experiences is a good positive one. The picture you have left me with is that you are not a quitter. You are a man with a 'can do' attitude and way of life. It speaks volumes for and about you. Don't give up, keep on going, I believe you will achieve your dreams. I wish you good luck in your future.

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