I have held the dream of joining a private Ivy League School since my childhood. Having just entered my senior year, I felt closer to the realization of this dream than ever before. It seemed only months away until one evening last summer when my father had me put it off for a little longer. Many things had changed, and my father seemed to have lost the enthusiasm of sending me to one of the best private colleges in the city like he had always wanted. Knowing the sensitivity of this subject, it took me a long time to find the right moment to talk about it with him. Clearly, my mother would not have any kind words for me because she considered my GPA of 3 a disappointment to the family.
That evening, I had the opportunity to drive to town with my father alone. Because opportunity knocks but once, I knew I would not such an ample time with my father in many days. Seizing the moment, I decided to find out what he thought about my college plan, so I began, "Dad, I would love to join my dream college after high school." "Mmh," He responded without looking at me. Now, I understood that he had to keep his eye on the road while driving but the lack of expression on his face sent a chill down my spine. Nonetheless, I went on with the discussion hoping to hook him in with my next suggestion. "Would you mind me seeking admission at the private Ivy League School for my undergraduate degree?" I continued. Looking at me in the eye, he said softly, "You have to deserve to desire it, son."
Painfully, his response reminded me that I could not secure a place at the school because I had a GPA of 3. As if I had not understood what he had said, dad put himself to explain that the Ivy School requires higher GPA and SAT scores than what I had. A deafening silence ensued in car dad until dad drove into the parking yard of a mall by the wayside, pulled up and turned to talk to me. He unfastened his seatbelt then put his right hand on my shoulder to reassure me of his love and support. Definitely, he had read the disappointment and regret written all over my face. "Do not worry son, you still have a chance to join Ivy College for your Master's degree if you focus on improving your English," he said with a slight smile.
Again, an uneasy calm came in between us. A few minutes later, we resumed our journey around town, but silence punctuated our interaction more than talk. Quietly, I reflected on my weakness and my father's words for a few minutes and decided to join a public school for my undergraduate. Improving my GPA and scores in English indeed guaranteed me the chance to realize my dream. Eventually, I informed dad of my resolution to join a public college after high school.
This experience remains clear as crystal in mind to this day because the conversation that I had with my father ended my long-held old dream and founded a new one that I hold on to now. Changing the goal of a lifetime at that moment meant adjusting the entire course of life. Therefore, I considered the experience a moment of reckoning as it involved making a tough decision. A decision that I believe shaped my dream and influenced the course of my life, yet I had no choice but to make. Also, the experience demonstrated to me the unpredictability of my father. When I expected excitement, he remained calm and expressionless, and when I expected an unkind response, he showed me tenderness.
Apparently, I perceived the behavior of my father as the most important thing to me during this time. Since he had always treated us with love and tenderness, I expected him to empathize with me in this situation. No wonder, I felt disappointed and somewhat frightened when he seemed to show little interest in a subject that I considered so important. Similarly, when he finally showed concern by encouraging me about the possibility of realizing the dream at master's level, my attitude changed and I began to reflect on his words with greater objectivity.
Both of us went through different emotions during the experience. In the beginning, I regarded highly the opportunity to find out my father's thought about the plan. I hoped that he would also love to talk about the subject. Nonetheless, in the beginning, he disappointed me with his faint response. At the same time, I feared because I could not predict his next reaction. In the end, I became a bit calm when he began to express his support for me through the advice and encouragement.
My emotions changed throughout the conversation because of expectations that I had and the responses that I got from my father. First, my emotions changed from excitement to tension and fear. Afterward, I relaxed from the tension. Suddenly, I managed to think objectively about the words of my father, which I had initially perceived as hurting. As such, my father's behavior significantly determined my emotion in the experience.
At the beginning of my narrative, I try to find the best opportunity to talk to my father about the dream of joining a private Ivy School, in which I did want to involve my mother, so I decide to do it one summer evening as we traveled to town with him. In the middle of the narrative, I open up to my father about my desire to join the private Ivy school, but he tells me that I cannot get the opportunity because I had GPA and SAT scores lower than the school's minimum requirements, then he encourages me to join a public college and improve the grades for a chance to realize the dream at master's level. At the end of the narrative, with uneasy calm, I reflect on the words of my father and my weaknesses before informing him of my decision to take his advice of joining a public Ivy school for my undergraduate to improve my grades so that I can gain enrollment in a private college at master's level.
The three words that would summarize the subjects of my narrative are: education, caring, and guidance. Through the support that my father gave me when I missed the points required to join my dream college, I came to realize that good parenting requires the ability to provide care, guidance, and inspiration in equal measure.
Experiencing the mental suffering that came with the inability to achieve a cherished dream made me understand the value of hardwork. I vowed to always exploit every opportunity and time in my hands to change my future. In my mind, I can already see myself in the public college working around the clock to change my grades. Fate can never again determine what I have or miss in life because I took charge of my destiny for good.
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