Posted by Walyn Napper

Step 3/4:

Step 3:

I feel as if the different institutions structure my own attitude, behavior, and beliefs because of the impact they can have on my life. After majoring in sociology it was one of the best decisions I have made in life, just learning about family, race, ethnicity, culture and so much more has helped me to better understand my life and what it means to be who I am. I now know why some of my behavior is the way it is and it took me taking sociology to figure these things out, to learn what it is to have a sociological mindset. Particularly learning about the four institutions/concepts such as family, race, ethnicity, and religion. Race is something I take much pride in because of the history of our world dealing with the different situations that occur dating all the way back to slavery. We live in a country today where race is a big topic and it is to me for sure because of all the fighting my people had to endure and it never got better for a long period of time in the 1900’s. I am African American and I am proud to walk in my skin and be able to live on the dreams my ancestors once had and what they sacrificed for me. My family is so important to me and I wear my heart on my sleeve for my family and represent my last name to the best of my ability. When I was younger I had many different problems growing up rather than being discriminated against because of my skin color and even having trouble with interpersonal relationships. I had some heartbreaking news once told to me at a young age which made me cold-hearted to many things like family and friends. Also, I felt as if I had no one in my corner for a while, not knowing who to turn to when things got hard and then I began to lose certain relationships I wish I could get back today. I learned so many valuable lessons when growing up in these dark times. I lost sight of life, I lost my happiness and felt like I could not trust anyone. Today learning about coping strategies in class made me wish I had known them back then. Then as time went on I picked up a bible and found my happiness again, I found another interpersonal relationship I would not trade for anything in the world besides my family. Religion became a big priority to me and finding my home with God and becoming a Christian was the best thing I could have ever done, I then began to become closer and closer to the word of God. Going to church every first Sunday of the month was the normative for my family and I had communion with my church family. It placed value on my life where Jesus forgives me of my sins and to give thanks to him. I am who I am today because of my upbringing and my walks of life, all the past happiness and sadness have built me into the young man I am today. Sociology has a special place in my heart for helping me to better understand myself and the world I live in today and why certain things happen the way they do.

Step 4:

A job I am interested in someday is making my own business of mentorship and counseling for the younger youth with the stigma behind their name. As I grew up in a small town in Alabama I had no guidance because of the sacrifices my mom and dad had to make for me and my brothers growing up. I always had baggage behind my name whether it was good or bad, which was mostly negative. I saw the toll it took on my mother when growing up raising three boys and trying to show them how to live in this evil world, which she did the best she could. Sociology has helped me to better understand myself and better understand the sociological thinking behind other people’s actions. So applying these different institutions, races, families, cultures, religions, etc into my work field will only benefit me in helping them to take the right paths in life and not the wrong paths. Life is all about choices and I want to show the kids that there is a better life out there for us all and you won’t be a product of your environment but you will be something way greater than what people imagined. I dedicate myself to these types of things because I know I did not have the resources growing up and I wish I did but for the next generation to come I will make sure I am there for them to help them prosper in life and not fall. All the knowledge I now have will spread out through the communities I encounter for years to come and I will enjoy every moment of helping kids find their “why” in life.

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