Mitchell Cleary

In high school, I had a hard time understanding not only what the point of learning was, but what the point of life was. I felt like I was playing a game where everyone understood the rules except for me. I dropped out and fell into a deep depression.

Then one day, I woke up and realized I wanted a life worth living. I got a license, my GED and a job, and started attending DCCC, all within a week.

Almost a year later, I take 36 credit hours (including five different languages), attend three different colleges and continue to hold down a job. There are two things that have kept depression at bay: 1) Staying busy and out of my own head and 2) Opening myself up to diverse experiences that challenge my perspectives.

DCCC’s Global Scholars Program has been pivotal for me. Attending Passport events, going to Peru and taking various globalized courses have helped open my eyes to the world, causing me to want to live and live well.

I hope to one day become an international diplomat or have a career in linguistics. My advice to others: Decide what matters and keep pushing through with the knowledge that, one day, you’ll find a game you want to play – and perhaps you can even make the rules.