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Destiny Iwuoma's College Autobiography

Destiny Iwuoma's College Autobiography

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Published by Destiny Iwuoma
UC Berkeley, Black Males, Higher education. Football Finding journey
UC Berkeley, Black Males, Higher education. Football Finding journey

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Published by: Destiny Iwuoma on May 25, 2013
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Controlling my own Destiny: College Autobiography Part 1
My journey through life has been an emotional rollercoaster of realizations thathave led me to my sophomore year at UC Berkeley. The rollercoaster began to ascendwith my acceptance into the University. When I was accepted I was excited and instantlythanked God for the opportunity.I always struggled with appeasing my Nigerian parents with my academicsuccess. My parents were always hard on me about academics and they had a verynarrow mindset of success in terms of being a doctor or lawyer. My passions did notalways align with my parents about my future endeavors. My parents did not want me to play football because they thought it would distract from my grades but I understood thatdemonstrating leadership will get me to college in addition to academic excellence.My acceptance into UC Berkeley granted me the respect of my parents so I cansay, “I know what I am doing” when it comes to my future. My acceptance proved tomyself that by following my heart and my passions that I could be successful in mycollege endeavors. In my journey to college I realized I must stick to what I truly loveand not let outside forces including family, close friends or mentors dictate my definitionof success.I have realized that my journey through high school resulted in my ultimatehappiness with an acceptance to UC Berkeley. I have realized for so many years I placedmy happiness contingent to the happiness of my parents with my academic pursuits. Atthis moment of acceptance where my happiness was matched with my parents I realizethat I do not need the approval of my parents to be happy about my personal
 
 accomplishments. This experience led to find my own happiness separate from my parent’s approval, I still seek to appease my parents but I have now set my happiness asthe precedent. I entered college with a mindset to achieve my goals with my happiness inmind and without the restraint of my parent’s approval. This idea of self-happiness cameto fruition during the Summer Bridge program, which was my first collegiate academicand social experience that challenged my previous ways of thinking.I love gaining a multitude of perspectives by asking questions and asking for advice. A lot of people label me as inquisitive but I realized I am able to do this because Imastered how to take advice with a grain of salt. I believe when accepting informationyou should filter it through your own individual critical lense to see if it applies to your life. I have seen people sacrifice happiness for the achievement of a dream that someoneelse has crafted for them. I see this all the time in college with students pursuing thesciences because their parents have pressured them to. I believe my generation is losingthe ability to think for themselves and take accountability for their actions even if it goesaway from the norm. In the Life Journey’s course we read a book by Don Miguel Ruizcalled
The Four Agreements
and after the course I read another book by him titled
TheVoice of Knowledge
and this is where I gained this wisdom. In the Black Males courseProfessor Quame mentioned that good leaders know where to get inspiration from and Idenote myself a good leader because I gain wisdom by the readings of wise authors suchas Don Miguel RuizIn this Summer Bridge program I enrolled in African American Studies 39E:
 Investigating Life Journeys,
and this was the class that set the tone for my Berkeleyexperiences.
 Investigating Life Journeys
 
i
was a class where I began to grow my
 
 consciousness. The class was a space to explore my search for self-knowledge,authenticity and purpose. At the time I was an intended business major for selfish reasonsthat society placed on me. I thought in order to be successful I must major in somethinglike business but this mindset was soon brought down when I discerned the idea of a journey.
The Four Agreements
and
The Alchemist 
had profound impacts on myconception on what I thought I was doing in college.
 
As I developed during Summer Bridge I let my outgoing personality blossom bymeeting everyone I came in contact with I struggled with my identity during Summer Bridge being that there were a small amount of Black Males in the program. One day Iwas studying in the Student Learning Center and started to cry because I realized I wasthe only Black man sitting in the math tutoring session. This was the beginning of my UCBerkeley culture shock, I was crying because I felt alone. I felt that I did not fully belongin any of the sub groups that existed I did not feel completely attached to the footballteam, which was suppose to by my safe haven. I made a lot of friends during Summer Bridge but I still felt that my identity was not completely found in Summer Bridge. Butone of the things I got from the Life Journeys class was that I was on my individual journey and to be comfortable in the present time with my journey. I learned to take fulladvantage of what the present has to offer and to learn from the past and not to get caughtup too much in the future.Leaving football for an academic scholarship was one of the most trying decisionsthat tested my morals. It caused me to redefine what I wanted out of a college experience.Shortly after my college acceptance I was a part of a program called Senior Weekendwhere I experienced my love for the Black Community. In this weekend I knew I wanted

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