The only place to read about Harper College from Harper College students VOLUME 50, ISSUE 2 – MAY 2018

Balancing Responsibilities in College by Akash Kachhia

Responsibility is defined as the “state of having a duty to deal with something or someone or being held accountable for an act” (Dictionary.com). A majority of people are conversant with this definition but have not experienced it in their lives. While I was growing up, I did not understand what the word meant because I felt that I was never put in a position to have to learn it. I have since started to comprehend the meaning of the word in my everyday life. One of the biggest factors that have contributed to this change has been the experience I have had at Harper College. Stepping into college and growing up have taught me what responsibility truly entails. I found myself balancing my school work, family, and household work, while also maintaining a full-time job which enabled me to turn into a responsible being and taught me the meaning of the word.

ResponsibilityDespite the fact that education is extremely important in everyone’s life, its importance is often not understood much, especially during early years. Unlike it happens in college, high school and grade school education are often not taken much seriously. Often, there are no life-determining consequences to one’s performance in the subjects, as the primary goal is to help the students learn and understand the material. I noticed that teachers made it their duty to ensure that no one was confused or struggling, and they also encouraged students. However, when I proceeded to college, I had expected a similar learning environment as the one I experienced in grade school and high school.

After just a few weeks into Harper, I immediately learned that college life was bound to be a completely different experience. College molds one to become independent and learn to take initiatives. As opposed to my prior school experience, there are no constant reminders or proper guidance to help students while they are expected to attend lectures and understand the material being taught. Furthermore, the lectures did not cover everything that needed to be learned, implying that all the classes required students to put in more time outside of class to learn the material on their own. I could not help noticing that my first semester at Harper was quite difficult because I had to learn to take responsibility for my work. There was no one to remind me of what was expected of me regarding completing assignments or preparing for an upcoming test. It became my responsibility to revise the syllabus and frequently check my class notifications to stay informed. I could, thus, deliberate that by learning to take my education duties by myself, I started understanding my responsibilities in my academic journey.

I have also discovered that by virtue of being a part of a big family, there are many duties that one is expected to fulfill. While being a child, there is no direct pressure to have absolute focus on family matters because there are few expectations that one has to meet. However, as one gets older, these expectations start to grow as well and the initial carefree attitude and unawareness about familial matters starts to become a problem. It is then that a person realizes that he/she needs to help around the house and fulfill the arising financial needs, and instead of hanging out with friends, family starts to demand more attention.

While I was young, I remember I had so much time to spend with my friends, and we had much fun. There were no stressful moments in my life and I always had my family to rely on if I ever needed them because I knew they were there for me. However, as I got older, my family started being a key part of my life and they would demand my attention and help. Growing up meant that I was finally able to help support my family; therefore, I started becoming more independent. I started my first job when I was 16 to help support my family, and it was my first step towards being responsible in the house. As I began to understand what it means to take up financial responsibilities, I bought a car for my family. I took up the role of owning the car and servicing for the loan by myself. Thus, the experience of paying the bills and helping around the house enabled me to understand how to manage my funds and time as well.

People often work for their needs and desires in life. It is a great learning strategy in gaining experience and learning how to interact with different kinds of people. The exposure to work at an early age enables one to comprehend the importance of money and the responsibility associated with managing it. Balancing school and household responsibilities often consumes much time and working on a job only adds to it. I started working a full-time job when I was 18 years old. I went to school in the morning and worked the evening shift five days a week. The experience of attending my classes every day and getting prepared for work right after school was a struggle at first. I had to manage my school work and also be on time and ready for work.

I eventually learned how important it was to manage my time as I started to work at an early age. I noticed that I had to start planning out a time table to allow me to stay on top of all my duties. It became my responsibility to make sure I focused on my assignments in school, attended to my family’s needs, while working to the best of my abilities. I could, thus, deliberate that the reality of having to take up all the three responsibilities enabled me to understand what it truly means to grow up.

From the experiences I have had and looking back at my past, I can perceive a young, carefree, and stress-free version of myself. At the time, I did not know much about being responsible for anything in life because I led a stress-free lifestyle as I depended on my family members. However, I see a changed person today because I have since learned a lot about what it means to grow up. Owning up to my responsibilities and taking control of my life have helped me to learn what it means to be a responsible person. The expectations of managing my classes at Harper, taking care of my family, and fulfilling my duties towards them, while also maintaining a full-time job, taught me the meaning of responsibility and still continues to help shape me into a more responsible being.

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