Finding Some Walking Ground: How Texas State Has Become My Home
As many find home in an environment where they’re surrounded by family, others may find home in a place entirely different in that aspect. As I have experienced my first semester at college, away from home, I have come to discover that I consider this newfound place more of a home than I have ever any other physical and spiritual place in my life. I was worried how I would transition to life on my own both as a college student and an adolescent coming from a broken home. Many others worries held by those in similar situations to mine weren’t an uncommon occurrence either. In a study published by online research journal Questia, 150 participants who dealt with turbulent situations at home were examined to find out if a child could still be academically successful even if coming from a potentially toxic environment. Many displayed the same concerns I did, although most also conveyed a desire to succeed and leave behind the struggles they once faced (Alika, and Ogboro Samson Edosa, Relationship between Broken Homes and Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria).For all of my life, my family has dealt with many negative, self-destructive habits that have ruled over my home and caused much misfortune in my life growing up. Both of my parents have struggled with alcoholism for nearly all of their lives. My father inherited the habit from his father, who passed away from complications due to the disease when my father was around ten, while my mother turned to alcohol to numb the pain she felt after experiencing tragedies throughout her early years of life. While there were some moments of sobriety throughout my childhood, many of the memories collected throughout the years were focused on the struggles I tried to handle because of my parents’ disease. Because of this, I was faced with many trials and tribulations throughout my life involving relocation, sometimes more than twice a year, many moments of possible removal from my home because of my parents’ negligence, and many nights of wondering whether I would be able to go to school the next morning if my parents were too drunk to drive me there. I don’t think I ever considered my life at home to be an actual home for me. Because of the drug abuse, emotional abuse felt by my sister, my mother, and I, and physical abuse my father brought on my mother, I never thought of that environment to ever be my true home. I found home in everything but home, practically. This is especially important for those who come from broken homes to do so to ensure their mental health growing up is not affected. In an articled published by Daily Mail, a recent study conducted by the University College London found that 6.6 percent of children living with both biological parents in a broken household are three times more likely to suffer from mental health issues than those who do not. The percentage is even higher for those with single parents and those living with stepfamilies, 15 percent for the former and 18.1 percent for the latter (Calderwood, Children from broken homes are ‘three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems’). That is why it is so vital for those who are experiencing such troublesome lives at home to be able to at least escape it with other matters, even if for just a moment in the day. This was especially true for me with the friendships I formed throughout my years before college. Many would think that this would be rather difficult considering I moved more than most throughout my life, fifteen times to be exact, when meeting new people and making new friends was actually something I didn’t have to worry about. This was because I did not feel much of a personal connection with both home and my family. I found home with the personal connections I formed with many of the friends I made throughout my life. Although this was not a worry moving away from home and coming to college, I was mostly worried about finally ridding the negativity and neglect I had to deal with for eighteen years and transition to living for myself and finding my own ground to walk on without bearing such weight on my shoulders. I was worried about the process of finding myself apart from my broken life at home. After arriving on campus and being here for nearly an entire semester, I have come to discover that holding on to this worry was absolutely useless. Although I am not from San Marcos and held no personal connection with the city before coming to college here, I have found that both San Marcos and Texas State University have become my first official home. After meeting so many other people and forming such personal and meaningful relationships with both other students and faculty alike, I have seen the love and care displayed by many that I was never able to find in my family most of the time. Not only this, but I have also been able to stand on my own two feet and discover myself and also discover how desperately I have wanted to break out of the constrictions home placed on me and rid everything that has been causing me so much pain for years up until now. I was able to see the holes in my home life and decided to leave behind every single thing I had felt up until then. I wanted to grow and experience a life I was never able to have, and to do so I had to forgive, forget, and, most importantly, let go. I was ready to do and discovered my first prolonged period of happiness shortly thereafter. Throughout this essay, I hope to display both my life before college and during college, comparing and differentiating the two, and present the transition I was forced, albeit thankfully so, to make to leave my past behind me. Some pictures are presented in black and white to convey a message of intensity and possible sorrow experienced at the time the photo was taken, while others are more vibrant and colorful to represent the happiness I was able to obtain after the many struggles I have faced. Overall, I hope the viewer understands the overall message I plan to convey through photography and depictions of both lives I want to present. While I understand not everyone will be able to relate to my circumstances, I would like to be able to allow everyone reading this piece to come to mutual understanding of what is being said in this essay.
While I am only allowed a limited amount of time here in San Marcos and at Texas State University, I am grateful to have discovered such a remarkable place to go to school where I have met so many wonderful people, many that I consider family, and make connections with those around me. Coming from a broken home life, the transition to college was not easy, but leaving behind everything that I had been carrying around for years was one of the best decisions I could have ever made when choosing this school. Discussing the many negative situations I have faced in the past and every single positive experience I have had here at Texas State through photography has allowed a creative door to open for me that I would have never known I possessed had it not been for this assignment. I was also able to let go of a lot of the weight I had been bearing for nearly eighteen years as soon as I step foot on this magnificent campus. While discussing many of the situations in this essay proved difficult for me, I enjoyed presenting impactful and meaningful moments I have experienced both here and in the past simply because what I have experienced has shaped me into the person I am today, and I hope the reader feels a personal connection to every photo presented for this reason alone. While I understand many may not be able to relate to what I have experienced entirely, I know many will understand my essay’s overall meaning and the message conveyed throughout by the personal aspect to the meaning of the word “home” and how I have found that positive environment both in San Marcos and at Texas State University.
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