“99.9% of the graduating class will be continuing onto higher education.” I slumped down into my chair in the auditorium that I spent the last four years in. Though the remark was said in congratulatory form, being the .1%, I couldn’t help but to feel insulted.
I didn’t have the best of experiences in my college-preparatory high school. The pledge of molding girls into young women, along with the promise of flourishing at the institution, didn’t hold much truth in my case. I struggled to get through the course of those eight long semesters and felt it was rationale that upon graduating, I stay away from a comfortable classroom and a set curriculum. At eighteen years old, any advice offered to me was taken with a grain of salt – I knew the ways of the world, everyone else was only holding me back.
Between my extensive work shifts at McDonald’s I began making a broad list of things that I enjoyed. As old acquaintances began preparing for their leave for college, my desire for excitement and adventure brought me to Rockport, Maine to explore independent filmmaking. Here are some photos of me on set.
I was living in a home, far from the only one I previously had known, with eight others older than I. It wasn’t the typical idea of “freedom,” as one may have upon leaving their house to go off to college – but rather independence that came with a lot of responsibility, all the while doing what each of us loved: filmmaking. It was a different lifestyle, one that I enjoyed greatly.
Upon returning to Connecticut some months later, I planned to save up some funds and set out to Brooklyn, NY – where some of my roommates lived and where the film industry was prevalent. However, I struggled to find work. An eighteen year old with a poor standing high school record and no future plans for college isn’t any employer’s top candidate. Though I acknowledged this, I didn’t want it to be my reasoning to enroll in school. Soon after, (due to an abnormal amount of persistence) I began waitressing. As weeks and months passed, the realization of how much I had learned everyday in Maine – regarding film and life equally – brought to light how little I was growing at the moment. Life had become routine and boring. I wasn’t working on films (or any art forms for that matter), I wasn’t speaking to very many people beyond customers and I’d crawl into bed upon returning home after my shift. Free time was nonexistent, as were any of the moving funds. The feeling of “comfort” progressed for five months before I grew frustrated enough to take action. I then accepted the idea of Brooklyn as wishful thinking and decided I have to take action before my transformation into a robot set in as permanent.
Still hesitant about being in a school-setting once again, as well as taking into consideration the amount of unnecessary debt it would put me in had I decided I didn’t want to commit – I began looking for a school that could enlighten me in regards to my areas of interest (and for a considerably cheap price). Thus, I enrolled as part-time student in Middlesex Community College – and will be graduating this spring. Today, I am proud of the person I have become and will continuously grow to be – and I do believe that I owe a large part of it to the school that guided me.
It’s funny how when we’re young we truly believe we know everything – and even if we are to find that we’re incorrect, pride won’t allow us to admit it. Two years later, I am still quite young, but I know with all of my being that Middlesex was the best choice I could have made. I don’t think at any point in my future I’ll say, “I was foolish to have taken that route” – as I have already said many times before when looked back on decisions I’ve made in the past.
Samantha Corsini is a full time student at MxCC and is a general studies major. She is also the Senator-at-Large of the Student Senate and holds the only student position on the Student Development Committee.