Nothing But Perseverance

Alyssa - Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on December 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that perseverance can get you anywhere you choose to dream, especially when it’s the only thing you have.

I grew up in a single parent, low-income household with my two older siblings. My father was an abuser of drugs, alcohol, and occasionally my mother. Although, my father’s presence was rare in the first place, my mother took it upon herself to end the relationship leaving her to struggle, but better off if you think about it

With just one parent running the household, money was short, food was short, and it seemed that dreams were short. If there was something we wanted, as kids usually do, it was “we’ll see,” or, “maybe some other time.” I was accustomed to hearing those words a lot when I was growing up, and now that I am older I know the situation before I ask for my wants and desires. Coincidentally, I never knew how hard my mother truly had it until I was a freshman in high school and witnessed the struggle first hand.

Because of a sudden setback in my mom’s blue-collar job we bounced back to food pantries, food stamps, and unfortunately homelessness. The struggle was unreal, and embarrassing as a 15-year-old girl still trying to find herself. How could I have done that when I didn’t even know where I lived? Thankfully, in short time my grandmother took us in, and our burden was lightened. However, the experience gave me time to focus on the one thing I could rely on and afford, and that was school. I did everything I could to keep my grades up, and to keep my mother proud, which sometimes didn’t seem to take much. Getting through school allowed me to dream the wants and desires that were different from the wants I had as a child. I wanted to be successful, and I didn’t want my children to go through what I had gone through.

Through the rest of my high school years I did everything I could to keep my grades up, my resume full, and my dedication strong. I knew what I wanted to do and I was going to do it.

Now I am a student at a university that only my rich uncles spoke about, and pursuing a dream my grandmother smiles at and my mother brags about. It was a dream to attend a university to advance my education in apparel design and photography that will lead me to the job I’ve always wanted, and of course to make my mom proud. But because it was the only thing I truly had, I did it all with perseverance.