Emerson College asked me to title my life and explain it briefly, and maybe this is why I got accepted.
What a ride! A journey toward self discovery through perseverance in the face of apparent loss
By: Kassandra Santurio
For as long as I can remember my mother’s face has been etched in my soul only through pictures and portraits my dad and sisters have shown me. I have grown up without a mother. The center of my family passed away when I was only seventeen months old from the big “C”…cancer. A word which, each time I hear it, makes me angry, as this disease took away from me a huge piece of my heart, although I was too young to know that at the time.
My dad and my two sisters took on an additional role in my life…that of “mother”. Through life’s ups and downs, the awkward “tween” years and all those even more awkward “teen” years, my dad and my sisters
guided me unfailingly through the course of what would ultimately lead me to where I am today..on the verge of commencing my college experience and entering adulthood.
My family has taught me values that are integral to my persona. I have learned to persevere in the face of adversity, count my blessings each and every day and know that life is to be lived in a kind and heartfelt way. I have been taught by example that education is priceless and that self-esteem is a trait that no one, no matter how hard they may try, can take away from you.
As I leapt into my 18th year of life, I felt armed and ready for battle. I had morals and values on my side and felt that God was always holding my hand. Certain aspects of young adulthood were new to me. I never realized how cruel and unusual punishers (of crimes never committed) the male species my age could be. As I overflowed with emotions (the bulk of which I had held deep inside me for the vast majority of my life), the which I felt would be valued by members of the opposite sex, I quickly realized that something I could value so dearly could be disregarded by someone so quickly. Herein lies the clencher… although I had felt as though my heart had been ripped to pieces, I was able to recover myself quite remarkably. Pat on the back for me! This “bouncing back” I can honestly attribute to my upbringing.
Many people who hear that I lost my mom at such a young age automatically feel a sense of pity toward me. They couldn’t be more wrong. In the face of apparent loss, I have been surrounded by an amount of love I never knew could exist and have risen to the surface as a strong and well grounded young woman.
Life has been far from a “piece of cake”, as the saying goes, but boy oh boy, what a ride!
"I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye."
- Nick Carraway in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (via yeahwriters)