Life is Full of Changes - Big & Small
By Kimberley Hines
When I first heard that I was going into foster care at the age of 14, I was terrified.
I had heard many rumors and horror stories about going from home to home. From my point of view, life was going great. I was hanging out with friends, failing out of school, and I didn't have a care in the world. But change comes with or without you being ready for it. What I have learned from Mockingbird and the Transitions Framework is that if you can't change the situation, change the way you think about it. Due to my family status, the thought of ever attending university was far from my thoughts. For as much as foster care has sometimes scared me and held me back, being in care has motivated me and assisted me in understanding that I could attend college with wonderful things called scholarships and financial aid.
Now I am 18 years old and I will soon be attending Seattle University with a full-ride scholarship called Fostering Scholars! It wasn't easy getting to this point. The process of applying for colleges can be long, hard, and can feel very repetitive. During my senior year, I wrote numerous essays for various scholarships. Something to realize in the midst of all the essays is that the prompts aren't usually very different from each other. I would suggest that you merely tailor your essays as opposed to writing 20 different ones on the same prompts. When I was called in for an interview I was so excited, however, I was also very nervous. Interviews for anything can be stressful, especially when you haven't ever been in that role before. I speak from experience that they are never as bad as you expect them to be.
I know that many of you reading this have heard adults tell you over and over about the importance of good grades and attendance in high school. As your peer and sister, I'm here to tell you that high school does matter: the grades, the activities, all of it. I know that high school can be difficult with all the cliques, rumors, and overall sense of hate. My advice would be to not get caught up in all the drama, just ignore it. Enjoy high school, but when it gets hard, rise above all the drama and throw yourself into school work. Colleges not only look at your grades, they look at you as an overall student. Get out there and join clubs or the student government. Colleges want more than a nice report card.
Entering college is a huge change in life: new roles, identities, feelings, and a new you. In order to deal with this change I will utilize the Transitions Framework by reminding myself that even though changes happen quickly sometimes, transitions always take time. One of my struggles with this change has been saying goodbye to old friends and ways of life. Adjusting to a new way of life isn't going to be easy. I plan on letting college consume me, replacing my old way of life through new interactions and new people. College is a clean slate, you have the chance to reinvent yourself, try new things. I have started to meet people in Seattle, explore the area, and get excited for my new life.
College is possible for anyone with enough work and dedication. I know because I was just like one of those kids who never thought they'd make it here. In applying for the Fostering Scholars scholarship, I felt empowered. I felt as though I could finally have an impact in the direction that my future goes. The process can be long and overwhelming at times, but just keep reminding yourself where you want to be and what kind of future you want. Don't let the past discourage you from having the future that you deserve. You decide where your future goes.