Mel Santos SLS1510 Ms. Donovan "My Why" Hi, my name is Darmelis Santos but I go by Mel. I'm from Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY. I'm 18 years old and I come from an Afro-Caribbean background. Education has always been a very crucial part of my life since my father is a school teacher and my mom is a nurse. Since I was a child I was always told that your education comes first. Obviously certain views have changed for me but school is still one of my main priorities. I feel as though I have many reasons for why I'm in college but my main reason is truly to understand me. Who is Mel? I've spent many moments in my life not understanding my purpose of what doing well in school or earning high grades ever meant. Even if I was getting A's, making my parents and my teachers proud, why wasn't I ever happy? Until I got to my senior, I never really got my answer. This is the year I was faced with "adult life challenges". From college applications to the stress coming from my parents, my purpose came evident to me. I want to be able to use all the knowledge that I've been so fervently taught since kindergarten and apply it in the real world, but in my way. My parents tend to be very hard workers who are also pessimists. Meaning they work for what they want, but set aside the "hopes" and "dreams'' one wants to achieve. But I'm not like that. I dream about things. I think that anything can happen at any given moment. Many times this year I was called delusional for thinking like that, which at one point did get to me, but now I see it as motivation. I understand working in a way that is an effective career isn't as efficient as working in a way that makes you happy. In a way that makes you, well you. My motivation to be in college and wanting to pursue a career that requires years of schooling is to find me. I want to be able to find joy and happiness in life, without having to do it for other people's expectations of me. Though we have a mixed relationship, my biggest supporters do happen to be my parents. They both came from a very tough background which is why I understand where they come from when I get lectured. I see their stories as my motivation to not only do and be better, but to be happy when I'm doing it. To be a doctor, there are many years of schooling along with stressful exams and professors. I feel without finding any joy in that, I won't be going anywhere. So I use my parents' success and their flaws and faults as my "I can do it". I feel another part of my support system is my friends. They provide me with companionship and an understanding that heals me as a person. So really my support system is unique but I think one of my goals in life is to cultivate and nurture these relationships and seek help when needed. One thing I've learned from others around me is that a strong support system can provide assistance during challenging times and enhance your overall well-being. I am a person who tends to lose motivation very easily but changing that habit is definitely my first goal to achieve. Some strategies I will use in my college journey: setting goals, staying organized, surrounding myself with inspiration and embracing failure as learning. I believe clearly defining your short-term and long-term goals and having a sense of purpose can help maintain motivation. With organization, I want to keep a well-organized schedule and to-do
lists. Knowing what needs to be done and having a plan will reduce stress and anxiety. Happiness, as I aforementioned, is also a vital point to my success and engaging with motivational content, books, podcasts, or people who inspire you. Finally one of the most important things I'll follow this year is not giving up. Understanding that setbacks and failures are a natural part of any journey. I would use them as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as reasons to lose motivation. When in class, I want to be inspired and motivated by my teacher. I would say I'm a pretty consistent student, so turning in assignments is never an issue. Overall, I want to have a fulfilling experience here at TCC so that I can take my experiences to FSU and onto the rest of my life.