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When you think of a high school student becoming a college graduate you naturally think that these events were albeit difficult, but undoubtedly consecutive. It`s uncommon to think of the option that an educational career was postponed for any reason; but also disapproved, and even viewed as improbable, especially when they have joined the workforce and then return to school as an undergraduate. The most difficult and poignant academic problem I`ve had to face is returning to school after a 7 year career shift, and the family heartbreak I had to go through to make this decision for higher education.

As a highschool graduate in 2008, I embarked on the same journey as my peers and frantically plunged into the search for the next big step for higher learning. As a young woman growing up in a broken home I already had the daunting thoughts that I wasn`t going to be a college graduate let alone apply. Unbeknownst to me, I was receiving high marks and put all my eggs into the idea that I could be in a two year program that wouldn`t cost a fortune for my parents. At the end of the two year mark I was asked to move out of the house so that my family can downsize to a more affordable living situation. I had difficulty juggling a full time time, being a full-time student,and paying rent, and thus the career shift that last 7 years.

When I was 17 years old I found my biological father and gave the noble attempt of igniting what I naively believed to be a lasting relationship. I worked beside my father in one of San Francisco`s more prestigious law firms and did so for the last 2.9 years. It all came to a staggering halt when I was compelled to report a sexual predator in the workplace. Incessant amounts of sexual harassment left me feeling vulnerable and helpless, and running to my father proved to be less than effective. I was met with the boys will be boys phrase every person tries to convince themselves when in an uncomfortable sexual situation. With the lack of support from my father, and the decision of the firm stating they did not believe I was being sexually harassed in the workplace (to save face), I decided to quit. Even though my harasser was severely reprimanded, their lack of professional follow up and concern for this matter put me in a deep depression. Every morning was now met with anxiety and fear, days were spent crying in empty office spaces, and working hours were met with retaliation from coworkers who felt I shouldn`t have `snitched`. I was hoping that I too would dismiss what was happening to me, and often times felt the bottom of a liquor bottle could numb the pain. The decision of quitting came from the small light from within; and not only did I quit, I enrolled in school and turned what little money I had towards my future education.

Not only did I turn my unfortunate circumstance into something positive for myself, I also created positive boundaries that will allow me to overcome time and time again. I decided that I could no longer have a relationship with my father. I see now that his cultural upbringing is different from mine and we do not see eye to eye, which is no real fault of his own. My favorite belief growing up has always been that God only gives his strongest children the hardest trials and tribulations, because he knows that they can overcome.

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