“This I Believe Builds Character”
At an early age the idea that hard work and being self-sufficient was an essential
quality to have was imprinted in my impressionable young mind. I grew up watching my
mother struggle to raise my three siblings and me on her own. She worked endless
hours, held down three jobs to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes
on our backs. She instilled a good set of values in us, and with them came the be-
lief that you can only depend on yourself. Her legacy of strength I carry on within me.
Not being privileged and growing up without has reinforced the importance of being
independent and self-sufficient which has made me a stronger person. I believe that
having to work hard for everything positive in my life has helped build my character.
In the last two months of my nursing preceptorship, I was in a major car
accident. My car was rear-ended at forty to fifty miles an hour, on highway
101 in commuter’s traffic. The insurance company totaled out my car, stating that the
cost of repairs were more than the value of the car. My only physical injury was to my
back and neck muscles, which were strained from the forceful impact. I was devastated
knowing I would be without transportation for quite sometime, and not knowing how I
was going to get to and from school. Ofcourse, my insurance paid for a temporary
loaner vehicle, but only for two weeks, and then I was on my own.
I struggled through my clinical nights taking care of patients while suffering with
severe back pain, unable to take any medication stronger than ibuprofen for pain relief.
The eight hour nights spent on my feet were physically taxing and felt endless as my
excruciating pain ran up and down my back.
In order to get a car loan through my bank I knew I needed a steady income which
meant going back to work despite my current injuries. So I started back driving a school
bus for my previous employer of five years. They had no problem with rehiring me
because I was in good standing with them and the union, and I had been a reliable
employee in the past.
My savings was low, but I had three things on my side: excellent credit, a former
paid off car loan, and a long work history. I saved up a few thousand over two months
and combined my tax return money for a large down payment on a car. I qualified
for auto financing through my bank. I ended up in a new used Camry just in time for
graduation from the nursing program.
Some people might say, “why didn’t you just get a co-signer for your car financing?,”
well that was never an option for me. I don’t have anyone to bail me out of a jam. And
I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on my own. I have security in know-
ing that anything I want in life I can have through my own hard work. And within me I
possess the strength to overcome hardships.