I am a nineteen-year-old student at Monash South Africa doing my second year in Criminology and Public Relations. Like many young people out there, I chose my majors based on inspiration I found from TV programs like The Fixer and How To Get Away With Murder. I did not realise just what little job opportunities are available for criminologists in South Africa until after I made my decision. But even then, I believed that I had made the right choice because I wanted to make a difference in the criminal justice system of South Africa.
My stepfather abandoned me
I started my university journey in 2017 unaware that my life would take a drastic turn later that year, with the news of my parents’ divorce. My stepfather was basically the father I never had. He took care of me for almost ten years. But all of that changed when he told me that he would no longer be supporting me, because I am not his biological daughter. That may seem normal to some people, but it was a little different for me. My mom became a housewife the moment we moved in with my stepfather. Without his support, I would not be able to pay for my tuition.
Adulting hit me really hard
Additionally, I was hospitalised and for months after being out of the hospital, I had severe panic attacks induced by stress. So between worrying about my health and paying tuition, adulting hit me really hard.
But guess what? I made it to the next year. My older brother paid for my first semester, and though I could not afford res, I actually got my first job as a waitress. The waitressing gig allowed me to make enough to pay for fuel to get to school and work, and to also help out around the house. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you overcame something you thought would break you a couple of months ago.
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