This I Believe

Miguel - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on March 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Not long ago I started a new chapter in my life when I graduated from high school and left for college. Being an undergraduate student has had its thrills and its downs. Yet one thing is for sure, it has been a once in a lifetime experience. Before coming to college I had been told that I was about to embark on a journey like no other but I usually waved off comments like these as exaggerations of a much simpler process called growing up.

Well now I understand what all the “fuss” was about. College really is a whole different world, where you arrive on a blank slate. Yes, it is true that all your hard work in high school helped in your application process but, for the most part, once you start your college education you will be on page one just as everyone else. You must make a name for yourself and that, unfortunately, took me awhile to figure out.

Before leaving, my parents sat down and talked to me about my future. They have always wanted what is best for me and they encouraged me to set goals and to accomplish them by hard work and dedication. I mostly listened and nodded thinking that I was old enough and that lectures were for young children. It was not like I did not care what my parents said; it was more like I thought I already knew everything.

My stubborness was my weakness. I entered college with a mindset of complete autonomy. Here was finally the freedom that I had always wanted. To bad all that “free” time was to much for me to handle. I ended up putting friends and clubbing as my priorities instead of my homework. I became a night owl and during the day, a zombie. Procrastination and laziness were only a few words to describe me. Worst of all alcohol became my greatest enemy. One night I had a few drinks and that resulted in a police ticket stating: minor in consumption. I could not sleep for days after that.

I knew that I had made many mistakes but I did not let them stop me. I worked hard for the rest of the semester and I dropped everything that had weighed me down on the path of success. There were many sacrifices but they were worth it! I knew who I was and I would never let any piece of paper define me. Today I look forward and I keep my pace as I come closer to realizing my dreams.