self blocks

“Putting Myself First”

A winning essay from our Brighter Future Scholarship contest

Addiction is something that many people struggle with, and I have seen myself in loved ones. Alcoholism runs in my family, and I have seen both of my parents fall victim to its grasp on occasion. I have always been told to learn from others mistakes, and this includes my parents. I have learned so much from my parents, both good and bad, and one of the biggest lessons is to learn my limits with alcohol and be careful to know when to stop. Watching others struggle takes a huge toll on anyone, but with addiction, you have to see them lose themselves as well.  

I have always wanted to stay away from addictive substances because I hate not having control over my body, and I have seen how certain substances alter who people are and who they become because of addiction. This is never something I’ve wanted, and have chosen to stay away from nicotine, drugs, and excessive alcohol for these reasons. Seeing my parents lose themselves in alcohol, as well as other distant cousins and uncles with alcohol, cigarettes, and other various substances, I have seen how people deteriorate and how their priorities change when a substance has control over them. This is one of the reasons I have chosen to double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I want to help people in their lowest times and get peoples’ loved ones back before it is too late. 

I have seen many people give up. Addiction seems too hard to face head on, and they take the easy way out. I want to help people get out of that mindset and treat the problem before that even becomes an option in their head. I have seen friends spiral after getting addicted to nicotine because they “thought it was cool” and eventually, it changed their personality and who they were as a person. I’ve seen people get kicked out of school, homes, and fired from their jobs, and all I’ve ever wanted to do was help them. I have done my best to help them to the best of my ability and even brought my ex-boyfriend off of the edge of suicide because of addiction. I have bene on the wrong side of his anger for trying to get him help, and I’ve been the person that drops everything to keep his trust and keep him here. In some ways, I’ve learned that I need to put myself first and make sure that I am okay before I try to help others, but I also realized that helping people is something ingrained in me and who I am. 

Winning this scholarship will allow me to pursue my dreams in criminal psychology and assist me in helping the people that need it most. I want to be a forensic psychologist so I can defend criminals who couldn’t help the people they became. I want to work with them and help them get help and stay out of prison by performing competency evaluations and risk assessments. This is my dream because I want to make sure that no one who is incapable of defending themselves goes on trial, and if they are capable of being helped, I can ensure that they get it instead of being separated from society unjustly. Seeing addiction in my family and friends are what fueled my motivation for criminal justice, and I am hoping to find support in my dreams to make the world a better and safer place. 

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