By Dannyy Alamo
As the semester comes to an end many graduating students start to think about the next chapter in their lives. Many students are continuing their education; others are going into the workforce and for students like me using opportunities to further their chosen careers and lives.
A lot of people question the choice to attend Housatonic Community College, I made the choice after losing my grandmother passed away in 2009 and after a year off coming to terms with her death I decided I needed to do something productive and start looking towards my future which is what my grandmother would want.
I started in the summer of 2011, after the grueling fafsa procedure, finding a stable place to live and deciding what major I wanted to be in, I took my first class in the summer to get a feel for what was to come. My first professor was English Professor Lily Michols and she was a very nurturing and understanding professor. Professor Michols made my first class very engaging and entertaining.
After Professor Michols’s English class I felt like I could take on this college thing and that I did. I’ll admit I was a little afraid because I knew that not all professors would be as kind and entertaining as Professor Michols, but I felt good about what was to come. After registering for the Fall 2011 semester I began to anticipate the upcoming school semester.
The semester came and I took it on and did really good, at the time I was in a relationship and was working at the Academic Advising Center in Lafayette Hall. I felt on top of the world and like nothing could stop me. Unfortunately all seemingly good things must come to an end. I had a bad break up after some hidden domestic violence and being with someone who was very controlling.
After I took some time to fully deal with the situation I bounced back and decided I wouldn’t let the situations that occurred before to derail me from finishing my goal, which was to finish the semester and get closer to graduation. I finished the semester and enjoyed the winter break. Christmas came, New Year’s came and it was back to school. I told myself I would focus solely on school and making sure to enjoy my college career, things don’t always go as planned I bumped into a blast from my past and three months later was in another relationship.
I was on cloud nine; I was doing well in school, writing for the paper and was in a relationship that seemed perfect. Perfection unfortunately doesn’t last long, especially when it’s not meant to be. A few months into my relationship things took a turn for the worst, I was being lied to, mistreated and my loyalty and commitment was being used against me. I wasn’t perfect and I knew that but I was doing everything I could to make the relationship work.
Eight months before my break-up, I fell out of love and realized that because my relationship was so public around town, social media and to close family and friends that I couldn’t just walk away without getting a lot of backlash. I was broken so broken, I wasn’t working at my best in school or work, I was emotional and confused, I had never been in that situation before.
When I had the proof to get out, I was too late. My significant other broke up with me and requested for me to move out of our apartment seeing as I wouldn’t be able to afford it on my income. I said I would but after the month was over, it was April 19. A week later I got more proof this time it was solid, I lost it after finding out I was lied to, played and betrayed. My relationship ended very badly and I was embarrassed to go back to school.
When I got back to school after spring break, I had a black eye, scratches and scars all over my body and a fear that wouldn’t go away. My ex broke me, I felt so little, so stupid and so lost. I dealt with the questions and the ridicule and the blame, never opening up to anyone besides those who mattered about what exactly happened.
I finally made it to summer break and even though I was still getting blamed, laughed at and judged I felt like I was handling things just fine. I enjoyed my summer with a few break downs and a few failed attempts at moving on. It was time for the Fall semester and I made a pact with myself that I would wait until graduation to start dating again, it was now 2013 and I realized I had been through two long term failed relationships.
The New Year came very fast and I was ready for it. I started looking at what I wanted to do with my Communications degree and my future. I applied to 136 internships in the City with my sights set on one, People’s Revolution Fashion PR, notably known for its appearances on MTV’s The Hills and The City and Bravo’s Kell On Earth.
I got People’s Rev and was excited to graduate Spring 2014 and start right after. Here I am now preparing for graduation in a few weeks and preparing to take on a new chapter in my life. I reinvented myself into a fashion socialite; I started hosting club events and embracing new friends. I feel like I now know who I am. I realized that all the decisions I’ve made have gotten me to this point good and bad, and that now it was my time to take back my life.
It doesn’t matter what curveball life throws at us, it only matters if we learn from it. If I could do it so could you and if I could come out stronger after domestic violence, homelessness and employment loss you could too. Life is in your hands take it and mold it into what you want it to be, don’t be afraid and never say you can’t do something, trust me you can. This is my farewell to Housatonic, for those that have some time here enjoy it for those leaving with me congrats! We did it!