Comments Off on What It Takes To Be Really Strong 56

What It Takes To Be Really Strong

Uncategorized

by Patrick Czwartacki, US Army Airborne ’89-95

Four years ago, I was attending Towson University in MD and I was a pretty successful pre-law student. However, I was also a veteran with untreated PTSD, so I eventually had a “mental break down.” I ended up becoming homeless until I accepted some treatment from the Veterans Hospital and I quit drinking to myself to oblivion. The story of me today is far from usual. I am a college student who struggles with bad time management and suffers with terrible test anxiety. Homework – need I even mention how I feel about this word?

Sometimes, I like to share this about myself with people: “Three and a half years ago, I was in the depths of despair, and I was also a homeless veteran; but today at SPC, I shook hands with a two star general: MG Horst.”

For me to get from the status of a “homeless veteran” to that of a “college student,” I had to do one of the most grueling things that we veterans despise: I had to ask for help. Asking for help should not be a daunting task and I’m not really sure where I ever picked up the thought that it doesn’t hurt enough for me to bother someone or to ask for help. I was incredibly mistaken to ever think that I wasn’t good enough to ask for help from anyone. Trust me when I say this: if you need help in any way, please, please go ask for help.

Once I started to get help, I had to make certain lifestyle changes and promises to those who were helping me. Not only did I have to make those promises to these people who helped rescue me from myself, but I had to do also make promises to myself and hold myself accountable. With a clear mind, clarity happens.

The promises that I had once only dreamed of are now coming true. In less than three short years, and with major help, I was able to turn my life around. What some people see as part of their normal functionality, I now cherish. I have the ability to drive myself to school, attend classes, and not get so upset that I have to leave. I am self-sufficient and very determined to succeed. I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t gone to Bay Pines Veterans Hospital for some help. Veterans Services at SPC can also help veteran students in the transition in starting, continuing or resuming their education.

Equal Access/Equal Opportunity
The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College affirms its equal opportunity policy in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Educational Equity Act and all other relevant state and federal laws, rules and regulations. The college will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or against any qualified individual with disabilities in its employment practices or in the admission and treatment of students. Recognizing that sexual harassment constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and violates this Rule, the college will not tolerate such conduct. Should you experience such behavior, please contact Pamela Smith, the director of EA/EO/Title IX Coordinator at 727-341-3261; by mail at P.O. Box 13489, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-3489; or by email at eaeo_director@spcollege.edu.

Search

Back to Top