by GENEVA NATAL
There are two choices when leaving high school: go to college or get a job.
Not many people have the luxury to spending a year finding themselves in a foreign country. Carolyn Sinklier, an education major at South Plains College, knew this and made the decision to better herself for others.
“It was my brothers, and counseling.” Sinklier said. “I didn’t want them to see how everything affected me. They absorb what I do, and I didn’t want that for them. So I changed for my brothers and for me.”
Raised in her hometown of Brownfield, Sinklier lived there with her mother and three siblings. Soon after, she and her siblings would be separated into different foster homes.
After two years of separation, Sinklier and her siblings were adopted by a couple in Abernathy, Texas. The couple already had two biological children of their own. When Sinklier moved to Abernathy, she attended Abernathy High School for the remainder of her high school career and graduated in a class of 42.
Sinklier chose to go to college, where she aspires to be a teacher to elementary students who struggle with autism.
“All of my biological brothers are autistic,” Sinklier says. “They are the ones who inspire me; I love them.”
Family is important to Sinklier. When she was separated from her siblings, she found perseverance by thinking of them. She has always spent quality time with her siblings and practically raised her younger brothers. This challenge gave her positive experiences in how to handle multiple individuals with autism and the mental challenge that comes with raising them.
“My mom lost it and did illegal activity that kept her out of the house and me and my siblings alone,” Sinklier explains. “I had a responsibility.”
That responsibility helped Sinklier find who she wants to become. She plans to graduate from SPC in the coming years, and started off her freshman year with a spring in her step and motivation to be better.
When not taking classes, Sinklier does make time to go see both her biological and foster family that are both close by SPC. Bettering her relationships, building life-long friendships, and fulfilling her dreams, she has found a home at SPC.
“I really like how SPC has a smaller campus,” Sinklier explains. “Being able to have a one-on-one with instructors and building that connection so I can learn better.”
She has found a way to fit into the college life as she has adjusted to all the other changes in her life. As of now, Sinklier plans to stay on this course, hoping to attend a four-year college when she graduates from SPC.
Sinklier says that she is “going where life takes me,” and, for now, she is enjoying the best of SPC.
“SPC has free cable and awesome french fries,” Sinklier says.
Her biggest problems include, like many other college students, procrastination and time management.
“In college, you are responsible for getting to class and turning in work,” explains Sinklier. “I forget about my deadlines and don’t pay attention. I have missed a whole module.”
However, with the connections she has made with her teachers, Sinklier says she will still pass and make it to her second semester. Through the struggle, Sinklier says she is “taking the good with the bad” at SPC and realizes that there will be more good than bad in the end.
“There’s a lot of damage, but if none of that would’ve happened, I would probably be pregnant, selling drugs, and living paycheck to paycheck,” Sinklier says. “I am one of ‘Vickie’s’ kids, but that doesn’t mean I am her. She has a reputation, and I am not following in her shadow. But now I’m in college. I have my own car, and I am going to be my own person, not what others want me to be.”