Wild child, party girl, rule breaker. Try to tell me no and see how far I will push the limits and boundaries. Some would call me a rebel, I say free-spirited. This was me, Older S, during my adolescent years. College was not for me. My senior year I went to beauty school ready to cut and color hair for the rest of my life. That was my plan. However, somehow I was oblivious to the fact that 95% of my graduating class, was going to college.

Reality hit in the fall when I realized all of my friends were getting acceptance letters to colleges across the country and I was going to be the only one still in Pleasanton, CA. Still, I never questioned my future. It’s cool, I was born to make other women beautiful. As senior year got closer to the end, suddenly and surprisingly, something inside of me changed. The feeling took over me like a tidal wave; that’s right, I am going to college.

My parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and I knew it was something they always wanted for their children. I could not wait to tell them, pretty sure I was going to win daughter of the year.

Well… not so much.

Little did I know that my parents had much accepted that beauty school was going to be my greatest accomplishment. College was something they had given up hope on a long time ago. Dad responded, “Excuse me? We did not plan for college. You were never going to college.” You see, dad has always been one to tell you the truth, even if it hurts, because he knows it is best. In his next breath, but with doubt in his eyes, “Ok. Well if you are really serious, you are going to have to figure it out for yourself.”

Ok. I got this.

What I soon realized was that it was too late. Applications had already been sent and honestly I was not qualified anyway. This was the first time in my life I felt like I was not good enough, like a loser. All I could think about was that I should have taken school more seriously instead of worrying about missing the next best party. Now I was really going to miss out. Ugh.

I was determined, I was relentless. Remember from the top, tell me no and see what happens. I did my research and I found that Sacramento State was having an onsite open enrollment. The next day I convinced my mom to drive me up there, this is it.


The advisor politely told me that based on my SAT test scores and my gpa, Sac State was not having me. He told me I had one very far stretched option, to take another test that if I did well enough, would give me a chance.

We drove home and I cried like a baby. The tears streamed down my face like a viewing at Niagra Falls. Mom grabbed my leg and looked at me with the utmost compassion in her eyes, “we should look at a junior college first. A lot of people do that.”

Another first, I headed to the bookstore and I cancelled my social calendar and studied more than ever before. The ACT book was thick and intimidating, no pun intended (not the last time I would see thick and intimidating in my college career if you know what I am saying). The ACT test came quickly and I was nervous, so incredibly nervous, but I was ready to control my future. It was now or never.

A week later the test results came… I passed. Yes, only by the skin of my teeth, but I passed.

Summer after senior year came to an end and I stepped onto my new campus with the greatest sense of accomplishment I had ever experienced. Little did I know this was not going to be the last time I had to prove my worth on this campus, or in what was yet to come…

This was my first step.

You are always going to face adversity, no one is exempt from it. You will be told that your goals are outside of your reach and your dream is too big. You are the only person who has the power to prove them wrong. Belief in yourself is the first step towards greatness.




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