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A Student’s Story #2

December 5, 2016 - - 0 Comments

Michelle Ghirelli


Not too long after I had started my classes at New Creations College I was asked what the most important thing I had learned was.  I thought for a while.  I wanted to come up with some impressive, scientific answer where I talked about all of the different parts of the brain, what they did, and how they were affected by drugs and alcohol.  What I actually said was nothing like that.  When I really started to think about it the most important lesson I had learned while attending class was about myself.  Even looking back, after having finished all of my classes and having finished my internship, I would still have the same answer to this same question.  This lesson that I carry with me from New Creations College is that my past, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is what is going to allow me to excel in this field.  My past allows me to connect, empathize, and relate to clients and therefore it allows me to be a better drug and alcohol counselor.


I came into New Creations College afraid that my peers and future clients were going to figure me out; afraid that they were going to realize that I was some terrible person with an awful past that didn’t really belong there.  The truth is everyone has a past.  While at NCC I was able to understand why people in their addiction make the decisions they do.  We are not bad people trying to be good, we are sick people trying to get well.  When I drink and use the parts of my brain that are responsible for logic, reasoning, morality, and common sense are completely hijacked.  I am no longer the person I was before I drank or used and therefore I no longer am capable of making the same decisions.  Because of this, my past doesn’t have to cause me shame or guilt.  Rather my past can be a lesson and a reminder of where I came from.  I can choose to learn from my actions and help others do the same.


Learning this lesson has allowed me to come enter this field proud of who I am and hopeful of my future.  Prior to starting any classes at New Creations College I was ashamed, afraid, and embarrassed of who I was and what I had done.  Now, with the help of my teachers and classmates, I embrace who I am and what I have done and see it as a learning opportunity.  A classmate once said to me, “let your stumbling blocks be your stepping stones.”  That is what I intend to do.  With the knowledge that I was taught in school, and the wisdom that I grasped in the school of life, I plan on becoming the best counselor I can be.


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