Jacob Newton

This is my fifth semester at Richmond Community College. When I first came here, my future felt uncertain. I was reluctant to return to a classroom setting after being homeschooled and self-taught for more than five years. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do, and I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities. I didn’t know what classes to take or what to work towards. I felt directionless.

Fast-forward two years. I’m taking 21 credit hours and tutoring for 20 hours per week. I’ve already completed my Associate’s Degree in Arts, and I expect to have an Associate’s in Science before the end of the year. I’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA my entire time here. I even met the love of my life through a class right here on campus. I didn’t expect to do so well in any aspect of my life, but now I realize that the only thing standing in my way was my own expectation that I would fail. Once my drive to succeed overtook my fear of failure, nothing could stand in my way.

I understand that not everyone has the same chances that I’ve had. As much as we like to pretend otherwise, not everyone is given the same opportunities in life. But that’s why it’s even more important to use what you’ve been given as best you can. I’ve worked hard to make sure that my opportunity to better myself doesn’t go to waste, and I hope someday I can inspire others to do the same.