Nothing and Everything is Changing

Image Description: This illustration shows the outline of a girls face on a lavender background. Her eyes are closed in thought. On the right there are various stars and question marks.
By Jazmin Diaz

I’ve recently hit a very stressful and confusing period in my life. I always imagined I’d be committing to my dream school by this time, that I would eagerly be waiting for the fresh start that going to a new school in a new environment provides. Unfortunately, things didn't work out as I’d hoped for them to. I didn’t get into my dream school and I can’t afford those I did get into. Next fall, I will be attending the community college in my town while continuing to live with my parents. It’s disheartening to see my peers moving forward while I feel confined. I created this series to illustrate the frustration, challenges, and awakening that this experience created.

Image Description: This illustration shows the outline of a girl on the bottom right corner. The background is a mix of pastel colors with strokes that resemble rain. The words "Nothing and everything is changing" are written in a white banner along the top. 
Both nothing and everything are changing. I feel like I’m frozen, yet everything around me continues to move. Next year, many of my peers will be in a different environment, while I’ll still be in the same place.

Image Description: This illustration shows the bottom half of a person's face on a pink background. The top half of their face is covered by a marble cloud. Inside the cloud, there are doodles related to school such as a book, a pencil, a clock, and an 'A+.' The words "Was it all for nothing?" are written along the top. 
Throughout high school, I endured hours of stress in order to get into a good college. Countless sleepless nights later, I find myself wondering if it was all worth it? Subconsciously, I know my work in high school will pay off but I can’t help thinking that I could have been less hard on myself.  

Image Description: This illustration shows the outline of a person's lips on a red background. The person is saying the words "I'm sorry."
“I’m sorry.” These are the words that I have recently been hearing a lot from my parents. They think that our financial struggles are their fault. I feel worse about my parents than I do for myself. It’s difficult to see them feeling guilty about not being able to afford my education. I wish they would stop blaming themselves and realize how grateful I am for everything else they do.   

Image Description: This illustration shows the top half of someone's head peering out the bottom. What would be their hair has been replaced with various plants and flowers. The background is emerald green and the words "I'll be okay" are scrawled along the top.
Although this experience has been difficult, it’s allowed me to recognize a few important things. I realized that there is no time limit on one’s future. Just because things don’t work out at a particular moment, doesn't mean they can’t work out later on. I have also realized that I should be grateful for having the opportunity to get any sort of education. Just because it’s not coming from a prestigious university doesn’t mean it can’t be valuable. Lastly, it has become clear to me that the path to my future has not ended; I am simply just taking a different route.