Prose Writer.

So… today I had a surge of inspiration. Recently I’ve been having a ton of conversations with friends, usually about life and my experiences. At the end of the conversations they tell me my stories are inspiring and I should write a book. I’ve been planning on writing one simply for my own gratification, if not for publication, for a long time now. The reason I haven’t started one was because I was convinced my story wasn’t compelling enough, or I wasn’t finished evolving as a person, or I didn’t have a pinnacle experience to top it off. And I actually still believe I need to finish my evolution and have a mega achievement. However, I have plenty of my past that I can still write about and work on. I realized that I have a plethora of stories that I typically tell people- therapist, psychiatrists, friends, family- when I explain my past. These stories mark monumental turning points or make up major components of my past that shaped who I am today. I decided to outline each of these components and turning points. As I did this, a chronological outline of my life began to emerge. It was sort of exciting to see each of the words that marked these influential experiences.

On the outline- each word marks a vital experience that has made me who I am today. I have carried these stories with me- in my head, journals- in an effort to help me explain my origin, my development- who I am. The next step is to simply begin writing these stories out. These are stories I’ve told dozens of times- whether it was to myself or to others.

I’ve contemplated this book/ writing process for a long time now. Initially I thought a self help book would be the best book I could write. Overcoming depression etc etc. Or maybe a manual for parents. Then I thought an autobiography would be easiest where I simply dictate different events in my life in the first person. I still don’t know. All I know is that I want to to touch on every experience, dilemma, emotion, struggle, triumph, passion, love, achievement, defeat that a person goes through when they grow up. I just want to explain my experiences in an effort to convey to the world, or just the ones searching, that someone else shares the intimate sufferings and joys of life, on some level or another.

Anyway… I have a ton of work to get done tonight. I’m sorta burned out. (at a policy dabate meeting right now- listening to my peers practice their 1&2AR/NR’s.

Here’s the outline… its too large to keep it in its nice format so yea.

Book Outline

1. Childhood
a. Family
i. Mother
1. Influence
ii. Father
1. Influence
iii. Sisters
a. Origin
b. Moving/Transitions
i. CA
ii. VA
iii. IA
iv. NJ
v. Home Renovations
c. School
i. Academics
ii. Medication
1. 1st grade
d. Adventures
e. Christianity
i. Influence
2. Middle School
a. 6th grade
b. 7th grade
i. School life
1. Academics
a. Stop Medication
a. Trouble
i. Detentions Suspension
1. Friends
a. Joe
b. Mike W
c. Steve
ii. Home Life
1. Family
2. Friends
a. Nolan
ii. Depression
1. Self Mutilation
2. Suicide Pact
iii. Joe Suicide
1. private school-public school transition
2. Therapy/counseling
ii. Summer
1. Hospitalization
a. medication
b. 8th grade
i. School
ii. Friends
iii. Depression
1. self mutilation
iv. Best friend Jamie
v. Experimentation
1. NYE alcohol
vi. Music
3. High School
a. 9th grade
i. school
1. academics
2. extracurriculars
3. Sports
4. Friends
ii. experimentation
1. alcohol
2. weed
a. trouble/ fires
iii. Parties
iv. Decision to transfer to vfma
b. 10th grade
1. Boarding school life
a. Crazy experiences
2. Academics
a. 1st semester
b. 2nd semester
3. Sports
4. Lifting
5. yearn for music
ii. Experimentation
1. drugs
a. pills
iii. Honor Council
iv. Party
1. 300 ppl
2. lost virginity
3. rape
4. epic
5. police
v. Depression
vi. Decision to transfer back
c. 11th grade
i. School
1. Academics
2. Friends
a. close circle of friends
ii. Arielle
iii. Mallory
iv. Todd Suicide
v. Depression Coping
1. Self Medication
a. Drugs- gp’s
i. benzodyazopines
ii. pain killers
2. Parents hands off
vi. OD
1. hospitalization
a. Bridgeton Adolescent Mental Health Unit
b. Arthur Brisbane State Mental Hospital
i. Experiences
c. Outpatient
vii. Summer School
viii. Move to florida
d. 12th grade
i. School
1. Academics
ii. Culture change
iii. Love affair
1. Jenn
1. Jon
iv. Jobs
v. Friends
1. development of groups
a. jupiter
b. dwyer
c. school of the arts- marrissa etc
vi. Partying/ Experimentation
1. Drugs
a. alcohol
a. weed
b. pills
c. shrooms
d. lsd
e. ecsatsy
f. cocaine
g. cb-i
h. CCC
i. absinthe
2. Girls
3. Fights
a. Moniques/ Phil
b. etc
4. Offroading
c. Random occ.
5. Tattoos/ piercings
6. Addiction
a. Drop out
b. kicked out of house
i. marrissas house
ii. Jesses
7. Partial intervention
a. sobriety/ partial recovery
8. Marines
d. Jon
e. Bailout
9. Job: Oakwood grill
a. Jacob
10. Rachel
4. Young Adult: 19-20
a. Rise of Recovery
i. Job: Cheesecake factory
ii. Partying
1. Halloween fights
iii. Selling to erin
iv. Kicked out/ Homelessness
1. Jons house
2. drug binge
3. hit bottom
b. Revelation
i. Reflection
1. Thoughts
2. Books
ii. Personal responsibility
a. rent
b. car
c. phone
d. job
i. admirals cove
iii. Night School
1. HS Dipolma
iv. Tommy Copeland
v. Apply to college
vi. Ariel
1. Beginning
2. Middle
3. End
a. Breakup
b. Chad
vii. Routine
viii. Balance
5. Landmark College
a. Year 1
i. First Impressions
ii. Academics
1. study ethics 4.0
iii. Extracurriculars
iv. Search for truth
v. Friends
1. scott
2. influences
vi. Life-> balances
b. SW Company
i. Houston
c. Year 2
i. Beginning of loss of faith
1. transitions
2. influences
d. SW Company
i. Wisconsin
ii. coming home
e. Summer Vegetation
6. Vanderbilt University
a. Fall 09
i. School
1. first impressions
2. academics
3. extracurriculars
ii. Existential Crisis

Narrative Biography

Within the first eighteen years of my life I had moved twelve times in six different states and had attended eleven different schools. This constant transition taught me invaluable interpersonal skills as I continually formed new friendships. I also learned to deeply value and appreciate my relationships.
In a series of events throughout my middle school and high school years, I lost some of the closest relationships I held dear. In my seventh grade year my best friend took his own life, hurling me into a confused and lonely state. As I slowly recovered from this devastating tragedy I was met again with the cold and penetrating sting of loss my junior year. My mother sat me down for a second time and explained that my close childhood and family friend had taken his life. These two experiences would change me indefinitely as I entered the dark realms of depression. My family thought it best to start over and again moved across the country to start over. Angry and resentful at myself and the world, I lost interest in the world around me and became rebellious. I no longer saw the significance of school and my motivation to better myself withered. While most seniors in highs school were busy taking SAT’s and applying to schools, I was seeking comfort in relationships that I hoped would heal my wounds.
I failed to graduate my senior year. Being a person who was so fascinated with the world around me and craved the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, I was, oddly enough, alright with that. Coming from a disciplined Christian military family with a strong moral conviction, this was unacceptable and soon I found myself living on my own. It was during this period about two years later that something miraculous happened. I saw myself where I was, and I envisioned where I always saw myself to be and was met with a cold reality. Where did I go wrong? While I was asking myself this question my mother had mailed me the book, “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. As I read this book I was transformed by the idea that we are what we think. I realized I had not been responsible for my thoughts and as a result, was constantly met with struggle and strife. I made a commitment to acquire the very best thoughts and began reading voraciously, consuming book after book by every successful person I could get my hands on. I slowly began modeling their behavior and the principles they lived by until, through discipline, I developed the habits and eventually character of a successful person.
Since then I have made and set goals for myself that I stand by unwavering. Goethe said “It is not enough to take steps which may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.” I know that I alone am responsible for my success or failure and I am convicted that success is achieved through persistence and determination above all other virtues. I have a vision for my life and one day this vision will be fully realized. My aim is to help everyone find and tap into their fullest potential and find the best they have to offer this world. When Michelangelo was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Kind David, they asked how he was going to create such a fine figure out of such as enormous chunk of marble. His response was “That’s easy. All I have to do is chip away everything that is not David.” That is a powerful sentiment. I hope to show people that they have all the potential they need and all that’s needed is to lose everything they are not.
Since enrolling at my current college I have been successful at achieving every one of my academic, extracurricular, and personal goals. In one year I brought the business club of our school together as a team and organized a variety of fundraisers to local foundations, reinstating the club on campus as a legitimate organization. My proudest accomplishment has been with the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society.
Being a small school located in a semi-remote region in Vermont, there are very few study locations outside of campus. As enrollment increased over the years, students have found that quiet study atmospheres are hard to come by and began voicing this concern to SGA. Seeing an amazing opportunity, I set up a committee with SGA and collaborated with PTK to draw up a proposal that would allow for students to remain in the Center for Academic Support (CAS) after closing hours. The initial dilemma was that the CAS needed responsible supervision due to technology and security issues. To solve this I proposed that the PTK Honor Society students could supervise, while simultaneously provide academic tutor support to their fellow students. In the fall of 2008 the PTK Tutor Program was initiated and out performed all expectations. It was a win-win for the school and the honor society. Not only was the student population provided an excellent study atmosphere on campus, but the honor society was actively exercising its ideals of scholarship, fellowship, leadership, and service. We are currently initiating coaching workshops for the PTK peer tutors that will improve each student’s effectiveness as a peer tutor.

Ambiguous Biography

Brief Application Biography:

By the age of eighteen I’ve moved eleven times, attending eleven schools across six states, living in California, Virginia, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. I’ve attended six elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. I’ve been tutored at home, attended public schools, private schools and military boarding schools. I’ve experienced the small towns and small high schools containing 100 kids per grade to cities containing 700 students per grade. Throughout the years I would go on to complete six years of extra curricular art school at a variety of art studios in New Jersey. I would become a highly competitive athlete, participating in soccer, swimming, football, wrestling and baseball.  In soccer I would go on to winning division and state soccer championships as well as playing on select traveling teams. In swimming I would take home gold and silver medals in Gloucester County, South Jersey, while placing at State championships as well as earning MVP my freshman year in high school. In eighth grade I would pick up the guitar and teach myself how to play music, eventually taking up classes in music theory and jazz band throughout high school. I was diagnosed in the first grade for ADD, attaining straight A’s until the 7th grade until I began to struggle with a variety of emotional problems that would continue to compound as certain life circumstances would bash any progress and hope for overcoming the struggle. Throughout high school these problems would persist, and compound, and prove to hinder any ability to succeed, leading to mediocre performance in school and a rising rebellion against any idea of conforming to the rigid expectations others, especially those of the formal education system. I would soon develop a listless and all around apathetic approach to life. Eventually I would go on to drop out at the end of my senior year, working as a server for a year, still lost and confused, I continued to search for some kind of meaning in life. After getting thrown out of my house, and continuing on to struggling with a variety of debilitating vices, I found myself wondering where I went wrong. A series of realizations occurred as I began to look for answers and place the responsibility for my life on myself. I read a book called “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen that would go on to change the course of my life. Although the change wasn’t immediate, I slowly began weeding out the negative habits of thinking that persisted for so long, and began seeking out the words of wisdom and advice from those who were at the pinnacle of success.  The progress has been slow and challenging, the change has been undeniably hard, but I’ve persisted with a positive attitude by putting my faith in the principles that I’ve learned to guarantee success.  Over the past two years I would go on to set goals for myself and continually reach them, owing it to myself to create the life that’s within my reach if my desire was strong enough. I soon returned to high school and went on to graduate. During my search for colleges I happened to read the book Learning Outside the Lines, co-authored by David Cole, a Landmark alumni. I would look into the college, eventually realizing this would be the place to start stretching my wings and tapping into my potential with the security of people and resources that support and encourage only my best. 

this is what i think

you know what. i used to have so little faith in myself. i thought i was a failure. i thought i just lacked what it took in this world to be great. i just considered myself special as an individual but i never realized how i could possible excel and contribute. the past year ive changed tremendously.

my whole metaphysical system for understanding what it means to be successful has been totally redone. it started with me failing high school. then me being a drug addict. then me losing a girl i loved with all my heart that it hurt and what hurt more was my inadequacy, because she deserved the best and i wasn’t. and i had to give her up in my mind because if i loved her i wouldn’t want to be a burden for someone that special. anyway.

i eventually sorta gave up, got kicked outta my house and was homeless for awhile. it was then, when i realized i would die or be a totally depressed unhappy bum if i didnt take responsibility for my thoughts and actions did i start exploring how to be successful. i started reading books, and the first book i picked up changed my life. “as a man thinketh” by james allen. i never even read prior to that book. i read it and it changed my view of the potential inside me that was crying out to be tapped. ever since ive continued reading books by the most successful people in the world and i never thought i could read so me or have so much ambition and positive hope for myself and my future.

failure is not an option to stop. i realized it simply became a stepping stone to success. you fail at something, you just dont do it that way again. otherwise youd be insane (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results) instead you try try again reading and thinking about how to to it better and you will succeed. there are alot of tools and understanding ive aquired as the priciple foundations for success. anyway. anyway. i went back to highschool with a renewed spirit, got my degree, looked at colleges, read books, found landmark, readup on it, thought it sounded amazing, applied and paid for all those fees and here i am. i swear im so excited to get challenged, esp in an environment where they understand my frustrations i face with ADD and my mind. cause i don’t operate like the norm, and throughout high school and prior i thought i was just a crazy lunatic who was too scatterbrained and not focused enough to really make progress. i know now i can.

i think about that girl and it hurts so bad but i tell you whenever i feel lazy or contemplate procrastinating i think about her and how much it hurt to feel like a failure and now worthy enough for her. i expect much from myself. i want to give the world to her. and its not so much her as it is someone that i will have those feelings for again in the future. its extremely painful to let go of something you love more than anything. it motivates me to read dozens and dozens of books on dozens of subjects and get up early and go to the gym and do errands and be creative and just my the best person i can be. we all have unlimited potential its up to each of us in this lifetime to realize the potential. only then can be possibly tap into it.

i realize i am who i am and im ok with that. i will succeed and reach all of my goals so long as i have goals. goals are huge. without them we wander aimlessly in life. we need to know where to set the bar and what we’re working for and applying our efforts towards. the only thing more fulfilling than accomplishing a goal is the thought of the possibility of accomplishing it. its so invigorating. the challenge is like a reservoir of satisfaction waiting to be tapped. ah. so anyway. i want to prove to myself that i can be as successful as i think i can. it aint for the degree. it aint for the money. its about learning and adding to my knowledge and understanding. every accomplishment builds confidence towards the next even more challenging endeavor.

looking forward to catching up at school. we have the potential to do whatever our mind can come up with however amazing. “whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, the mind of a man can achieve.”-napoleon hill. you gotta think big and be positive and just on every opportunity to overcome a challenge or a fear. i got some good books ill introduce you to. ultimately, its what you want from this life and yourself. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” so true. problem is we don’t ask, and we don’t seek, and we don’t pursue. anyway.

this place is awesome. its built for people like me. they have all the right teachers and resources to tap into for help and encouragement. and from here, if I utilize everything available to us, we can go on to any higher more challenging institution for learning we choose. its exciting.

i like all music. my friends got me into the hardcore scene. not a huge fan of country yet, just doesnt do it for me, and rap and r&b is aight. hiphop a little more perferable. i dont get into any music scene tho. i tend to go with what speaks to my emotions at the time. anyway.

My testimony rough draft

My Testimony Rough Draft

Rough Draft:

I recently acquired my high school diploma after failing my senior year of high school a year and a half ago. I was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade. I was medicated and got by successfully with A’s, B’s and an occasional C until the seventh grade. My parents grew increasingly concerned with their son being medicated and they thought it best that I learn how to cope without medication. I barely succeeded in passing the first quarter, although I put a lot of effort into getting by. I became frustrated with myself and my grades slowly dropped into C’s and D’s. My father graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelors’ in Aerospace engineering. He was diagnosed with ADHD the year I was tested. He got by without medication and thought that I was just as capable. He was intolerant and disappointed when my behavior led to detentions week after week for calling out, talking, coming unprepared or some other behavior not suitable for classroom learning. My academics slipped into the realm of disgraceful. ‘You’ll be flipping burgers at this rate. You’re not even trying. You’re so smart all you need to do is try a little.’ I was incredibly frustrated with myself. I’m a failure. I’m a mess-up. My brain doesn’t work right. I’d given up trying to do homework. It was impossible. My brain would blank. I could sit there for hours staring at the paper accomplishing little more than putting my name at the top. My frustrations led to emotional discontent and eventually depression and self-mutilation. I’d given up. I thought that I was a failure and eventually entertained the real possibility of suicide. My detentions added up to suspensions which were leading to the real possibility of expulsion. My best friend and I confided in each other our self disappointment. We struggled similarly at home and in the classroom. Suspension after suspension-he was also pending the real possibility of expulsion. We made a pact that if either of us were to be expelled we would kill ourselves. In May I was suspended for the final time and was pending an expulsion. “I’ll let you know what does gonna happen. If you don’t hear from me I’m going to hang myself.” I told him as I waved goodbye in the parking lot. My father was in China for business. Hearing the news my mother was frantic and devastated. She went to the school dean and relentlessly pleaded that I be allowed to finish up the year. They left it up to the teachers to vote. Unanimously they voted for me to finish up the last month. Excited that my educational future wasn’t over due to this expulsion I phoned him immediately upon hearing the news. His mother picked up. She wasn’t a fan of our friendship. We brought each other down.

“Is Joe there?”

“I don’t know where he is. I’ll tell him you called.”

I wasn’t good for him.

The next day an early morning phone call caused awkward vibes throughout the house. My mother sent everyone off to school but me. She sat me down and informed me that my best friend had died last night. He had hung himself. I immediately broke down and lost all hope. I was plagued depression. My parents transferred me to a public school to finish up the year. That summer I was hospitalized for severe depression and medicated with antidepressants. They resumed ADHD medication and I passed eighth grade doing the minimum to get by. I was more about looking to fit in than exploring any of my passions and interests. I was still frustrated with my mind and the lack of control I seemed to have over it, but being medicated made things easier despite. The anxiety the medication gave me proved to a struggle in deciding whether it offered more positives than negatives. My freshman year of high school looked to offer a new start. The first month I was hyper-focused and on top of my studies. I wanted to succeed and do well. I wanted to go to college and prove to everyone that I am intelligent and capable of being brilliant. I talked with my advisor and worked out that I take all honors classes. I applied for all the schools clubs such as the Key club and SADD. I successfully ran for student council and class president. I was even chosen to represent the Liaison Committee and the schools first Renaissance Program as freshman representative. In Addition I played junior varsity soccer and excelled in swimming for the varsity team. I still struggled in school academically and achieved mediocre grades despite my potential. I found it nearly impossible to do homework. My parents thought public school offered too many negative influences and distractions that were hindering me. My father knew the importance of a structured environment. I tested into the all boys military boarding school Valley Forge Military Academy and after meeting with the swim team coach was accepted and enrolled my sophomore year. They required that I be removed from my antidepressants upon arrival and was to be eventually removed from my ADHD medication after I was accustomed to the structure. I did very well my first semester. A week before my midterms I was removed from my ADHD medication. I lost my mind. I could not study. I could not sit still. I wanted to bang my head against the wall the entire week. I could not memorize. I felt like my mind stopped working. I took the midterm and got D’s and C’s with the help and forgiveness of my teachers. The next semester I struggled heavily to pass with C’s. The structure and regimen kept me afloat where I would’ve otherwise drowned. I opted that I be put back in public school with the notions that the academics of that school were for a different type of person. My junior year I attended public school once more without medication. I big step down from VFMA, and I had the pleasure of skating through the first semester, just passing by. A close childhood friend, with whom I grew up with and still went to school with, committed suicide that December, causing me to lose all focus in my endeavors and academics. This catapulted me into a spiral of depression once more. My academics dropped into D’s and F’s and I became increasingly depressed and unsatisfied with myself. I felt that I was not going to amount to anything. I was hospitalized and dropped out of school February my junior year due to severe depression and suicidal ideations. I returned home that May and was tutored at home in all classes but English to catch up where I had missed. I had the potential. They passed me. I moved to Florida my senior year. I moved from a small quite suburban town in New Jersey with class sized of a hundred students to a metropolis in Palm Beach Florida with class sizes of eight hundred or more. My class schedule still reflected that of a successful high school student. I was in Calculus AB, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology Honors, English Honors IV, English Honors III, Jazz Band and Economics. I decided to not due sports for fear of not being able to focus on academics- and chose to abandon swimming, the sport in which I excelled in and competed in at state levels. Try as I might I could no longer skate by. I had gone throughout high school purely on the ability to do what I had to do to get by, and the forgiveness my teachers offered due to the potential they knew I had. I started ADHD medication once more with the hope that I just had one more year to go. I continued self-medication to escape from the mounting pressures through substance abuse. My parents knew this and refused to see me take drugs on top of drugs. They decided to strip me of any crutch that would help me. The academic pressures mounted exponentially as the first few months of school progressed and new material was presented. I slowly was forced to drop unnecessary classes one by one starting with Calculus, then AP Biology, and eventually downgrading to Standard English III. This allowed me to focus on the core classes needed for graduation. School made me bored. No matter how hard I tried I felt that it was nearly impossible to juggle the remaining classes. I failed maintain focus, to turn papers in, to stay awake in class, to read books, despite the stifled overwhelming desire I had inside myself to succeed, to learn, to understand and acquire knowledge. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to study great things. I reached a point where graduating high school was the highest goal I set for myself. That soon vanished and I gave up entirely going to classes. I did drugs and hung out with friends instead. My teachers were alarmed and they saw me slip into frustration. I promised myself never to be depressed again, not to let it get to me, just not to care at all. So that’s what I did. I stopped caring and eventually I failed out. I was kicked out of my house by May and binged on drugs due to disappointment. Homeless, I wandered from house to house getting high and wondering what was left of me. I hit bottom soon thereafter. I got in touch with my parents. They offered the only way I come home is if I enroll into a drug rehabilitation program. I saw my life crumbling all around me and my future was dark and dismal. The last thing I wanted was hospitalization and therapy, something I’d gone to multiple times in my past. I made a promise to myself and to my parents to never to return to drugs as an outlet for my frustrations and disappointments. I stopped drugs and severed myself from the old life I lived. I got a job and made new friends. No diploma and no hopes of going to college I drifted the next few months partying and getting by. I entertained the idea of being a personal fitness trainer as a career since I was a guru into health and wellness since the middle school. I no longer used drugs to escape, but rather as a periodic social entry. I partied, stayed out late and lucratively spend my money. My parents wanted nothing to do with supporting this behavior. I wasn’t like my parents. I was different in my eyes. I wasn’t that person they always thought I could be. I didn’t care what they thought about me. I am who I am. Love me or hate me. I was kicked out of my house on New Years due to this behavior. The next three months I lived with a close friend free of charge. I continued to party it up and live life to the fullest. All I had was a job serving tables with my friend. No car, no money and no education. I felt pathetic for living with a friend in his house, a free room and a free ride to work. How did I ever get here? How do I ever get myself out of this situation? The realizations of life left me feeling challenged and helpless. The mounting guilt caused me to search deep inside myself. My mother gave me a book for Valentines Day that year titled “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. I read is with an open heart and an open mind. I was struck deeply. ‘Your thoughts birth your actions; your actions birth your circumstances.’ I looked at my circumstances and realized I could not blame anyone else. I needed to put faith into myself and think of things that will put me in a place where I could succeed. I worked with myself and my conceived ideas I had about my parents. I realized I could be where I wanted to be without them. I still had no idea where I was going. My interest and passions were as deep as they were wide, but I knew that the easiest way to find my calling was with my parents support. I moved home and promised to follow their rules no matter what I thought about it. I began reading and searching for more books that provided some insight on personal development much like “As a Man Thinketh” had done. Slowly through much perseverance and determination I gained a renewed faith in myself. I read books from authors such as John Maxwell, Stephen Convey, Michael Hall, Dale Carnegie, Vincent Normal Peale, Claude Bristol and Anthony Robbins. I had realizations and revelations regarding concepts such as ‘self-sacrifice’ and ‘failing does not make you a failure, rather each failure is a stepping stone to success.’ Self discipline became a close friend of mine. I know I can do whatever I put my mind to. Eliminate distractions, put myself around those who are going the direction I want to go, and keep my mind on the prize. Graduating High school was my first objective. I made my mind up that education was not a bad thing and with a renewed sense of sense of self worth and faith in my abilities, I wanted to use college as a tool to help educate me and further my understanding in whatever field I chose. I went my old guidance counselor and explained that I would do whatever it took in order to graduate high school. Despite poor class attendance and my poor grades I managed to pass all my classes for the year with the exception of American Government, a half a year class that I failed due to poor attendance. I enrolled in the High schools adult education program and successfully passed American Government with an A and finally earning my High School Diploma. I’m currently looking forward to attending a college that will offer me the best tools needed for further personal success.