BAM! It was the moment of truth. My knees began to weaken as I clenched the small white envelope between my thumbs in my now pale hand. My heart was banging against my chest. I had been waiting on this one moment for what seemed like my entire life. I drew in a deep breath and slid my index finger slowly underneath the cold stiff back of the envelope. As I unfolded my first college acceptance letter, I felt overcome with relief and excitement. I did it.
I grew up with very little. I learned quickly that things aren’t simply handed over in life and often if you want something, you have to work hard in order to get it. My dad was the only one in his family who graduated high school. He was on his own since sixteen and if he wanted or needed something, he had to work hard and earn it for himself. He instilled in me his work ethic. I worked for years to put a down payment on my car, I never got allowance, and I certainly learned the value of a dollar quickly. If I wanted something, I needed to work hard for it.
My freshman year of high school I tried out for the softball team. I was devastated when I found out I made the junior varsity team. I had never played on a travel team – which everyone on the varsity team did. I was fifteen and terrified of the thirteen upper-class all-star varsity players. I worked every day during practice, and for hours after practice ended, on practicing batting and fielding. I woke up early on the weekends and went to the gym and built my endurance. I set my heart to being on varsity and better myself as a player and worked hard every day for it. The next month, I was moved up to the varsity team and even started a couple games. My work had paid off.
Today, I still am not the prettiest, the richest or the wisest, but I’m doing just fine. I am furthering my education at the university of my dreams and that in itself is a huge accomplish – I am the first in my family to attend college. With a little hard work, anything is possible. And this I believe.
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