By: Genova Linde
The first book that I recall that most changed my view of the universe was; Is There Life After High School? I read this book when I was sixteen years old and living in Geneva, Nebraska. Prior to reading this book I held the belief that all people in this small town stayed there since no one ever seemed to move away. In my opinion, they lived shallow, boring, and mechanical lives. Most married other local people, had 2.5 children and worked in dead end jobs that most of them hated. Every day they lived the same endless cycle of existence. I felt doomed. Then I read this amazing book! It showed me a way out. Other people in similar situations shared their high school experiences and demonstrated how they broke free!
I found courage in the story of a young girl who was very unpopular in high school like myself, who moved away and went on to be successful. So, in September, shortly after my high school graduation, I boarded a bus bound for Los Angeles, California. I was in search of a new life too. I was going to be one of the ones to break old patterns that the book spoke of. Right away I started meeting all kinds of interesting and diverse people and a lot of my previous biases were completely changed. I was learning all kinds of new things and meeting people who thought freely. I was trying new foods, accessing never seen before reading materials, shopping after five o’clock, well, the list was endless. If not for Is There Life After High School? I probably would not have experienced any of this and my mind would not have been as opened to trying new things as it was.
Upon arrival in Los Angeles, I was astounded by its contrasts to Nebraska. I remember getting off the bus and not being able to stop staring up at the tall buildings. I had never seen buildings as tall as the ones in Los Angeles. There are so many old buildings, with so much history. I could not believe how large Los Angeles was. I kept getting lost and had to develop a system so that I would not. I loved the weather here, it was very mild. Nebraska had extreme weather, with snowstorms, tornados and high heat. The people were so different! So many different cultures were represented here. The book had warned of possible culture shock. I certainly experienced it for many years.
Next, I needed to find a job. I started looking, and found there were endless jobs here unlike Geneva. It appeared that a person could be almost anything in Los Angeles. At this point I decided to apply through something called an “employment agency”, something formerly unheard of by me. I went in, took several tests and a job consultant sent me to a job interview. I landed the job at a major insurance company in Downtown LA and the agency seemed shocked. My new boss had shared a similar background and more or less took me under her wing, giving me advice on starting college and helping me to find a place to live as well as the job. I never would have thought my accounting classes in High School would have prepared me to work in an accounting department in Los Angeles. This came as a big surprise to me and I thought back to the books' focus on comparison of status related to high school!
As you can see, by my example, it sometimes just takes a desire to change one’s life and an impetus like a book Is There Life After High School? that can help someone to overcome obstacles and move forward. Who knows what would have happened to me if I had not read Is There Life After High School? Would I still be sitting in Geneva still, one of its sad statistics? Probably! Clearly this book changed my universe. It changed the way I thought and allowed me to dream and put that dream into actions. It had the power to transport me to Los Angeles!
Genova Linde is enrolled in Pasadena as a Paralegal/Admin. of Justice AS Major. Linde decided to go back to school after years of working in the legal field to finally finish the degree. Linde wrote this short essay for an English 1A class and Linde's teacher suggested it be submitted.
PCC Inscape Magazine, housed at Pasadena City College, is following Coronavirus protocols. At this time our staff continues to read submissions and publish web content.
Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.