In the weeks I’ve been in this semester, I have found a lot of pain within the results of my endeavors in pharmacy school. That being said, I have grown quite tired of feeling like a weak, unknowable form of myself. Within all of these experiences going on my life, I texted an old adviser of mine, asking how one is to go about getting thick skin. She told me that you can’t just get it, but it comes through experience, and even she in her advanced age and vast experience with feelings being hurt and personal values being tested, she believes she isn’t great at it and most adults aren’t either.

This answer was not comforting to me yet it wasn’t something I’d expect on my front page of the New York Times in my mind. Of course this wasn’t a quick fix and a simple decision to shut off myself to others could not be accomplished with will alone.

To shut those out meant being the opposite of myself, someone who wants so desperately to serve others and make a more merciful justice system that grows out of the will to do good for people, acknowledging that only through coalitions and working as one can we ultimately be the most successful as a people, as humankind.

I truly am desperate to be who I see myself being. Still, it is not my time.

It is now unbiased to say that I am not supported properly by my college yet somehow I have let them teach me to not support myself. I have lost a lot of faith in myself since I have received emails from professors over school breaks about how they do not believe I will do well land are pushing me back and how I ought to have known better considering my grade records despite my numerous attempts to succeed in this program. Of course, I have been tutored, gone to therapy, counseling, worked harder than ever, worked in many different ways, and more. It has been to no avail at this point but I am expected to perform what would be equivalent to a miracle with my capabilities.

My mother says, “Amanda, you aren’t successful now, but you will be. And someday, you will show them all how great you are. You will prove them all wrong.”

I did want to prove them all wrong, and at times my hate grows and my anger pushes me to want to show them more than anything. But my true, heart-of-hearts desire is to simply be able to be the force I see myself to be. Test-taking is not me. Grades are not me. I know who me is in fact. I want so so badly to be able to be myself and give that to the world rather than be held by my inability to succeed within this system, yet the paradox is that I need this system in order to accomplish my dream and be able to learn through experiences rather than simply the educational system here.

It’s tough, no one said it wouldn’t be, but I do ask God a lot of the time, when will I finally get the break I’ve been so longing for and working so hard for, the time for a fantastic opportunity that I’ve worked at to turn out my way and to be rewarded with a positive grade for my efforts. Is that too much to ask, I often wonder. But then I take myself away from these thoughts and reflect like I am doing now. I know myself and who I want to be. I know that I will not let those who grade my tests, grade me as a person. I know that I am more than they all see me to be and that I am a true fighter because I am fighting to be myself. I am fighting for the ability to be myself. What greater fight is more important than that? The only I can think of is the fight to serve my people, my world, but the issue with that of course, is that I will need to provide all of my strengths to do so and that requires fighting to be my best self. I just cannot ever give up the fight. Like Ronda Rousey says, we all go through losses in life, but to be defeated is a choice. I too want to choose to remain undefeated. I am still here and in this program. I walked out of a member of my schools board of pharmacy’s for education office stating that I WILL graduate from this college. I don’t know that she was expecting me to say that or if I expected myself to say that, but I know I believe in myself because I know my potential is here and ready to be tapped. Someday, it will be my turn to shine and I will be able to give my light to the world, where it belongs.