Here are 10 things you didn’t know about me and my education followed by the greatest lesson that I learned.
- I am the first and only person in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
My best friend’s parents lent me $600 to attend my first semester in school.
I worked full-time in retail job my entire college career.
It took me eight years to graduate … with a bachelor’s degree.
I got a call a week before I crossed the graduation stage that I didn’t graduate.
I had to adjust my degree from double major Spanish/Mass Communications to Mass Communication Major/Spanish Minor because I should have taken one Spanish class elective but took Guitar 101 instead.
I don’t know how to play the guitar.
I’m still learning Spanish. Wait. You may have already known that.
I studied abroad in Spain for a summer and it was the best student loan money that I ever spent.
Going to and graduating from college changed my life.
From the list above, I’m most concerned with number one. Notice number 10? It’s true. Going to college and graduating from college did change my life. And that’s what I wish for my family.
There were experiences and lessons that I learned from supporting myself through college that have shaped me to be the woman that I am today. Today, I get to wake up every day and work on my dreams of being a successful entrepreneur. The most important lesson that I learned was to never give up. There were plenty of times that I wanted to. Frankly, who could tell me not to? Remember, I was the first person in my family to get a degree.
It was meeting fellow students who had less than I and still showed up every day that kept me going.
It was studying abroad and learning about a world outside of my own that kept me going.
It was diving into my Chicano-Literature classes and learning that people who looked like me were authors and had PhD’s that kept me going.
I learned to never give up.
I remember after having a grueling week at work and tiring week of school, I was feeling pretty defeated. A friend looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “You are one of the strongest people that I know.” He went on to say that he knew others who gave up way before they reached the point where I was.
The strongest person he knew?! That kept me going. It was hard, queridos. I had to work to pay for college and when I finally could get student loans, I had to work to pay rent, my food, my bills and my car.
I never gave up. I graduated.
It’s not too late for my family or anyone to finish their degrees. And to the next generation, I hope that my real story of persistence is an example for them to never give up on getting to and through college. I share my experiences with them. I also share resources with them because I don’t want them to have to work full-time like I did while working towards their degrees.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund #FortheDreamSweeps
The For The Dream program has a sweepstakes component, #ForTheDreamSweeps, in which Coca-Cola is awarding one College Tour Experience and 34 x $500 grants to cover education expenses.
- There are two ways to enter the sweepstakes:
- Entering a product code on its microsite: http://coke.com/forthedream
- Posting a selfie on Twitter or Instagram with someone who is helping you achieve your college dreams, and hashtagging it #ForTheDreamSweeps.
- The #ForTheDream program and #ForTheDreamSweeps starts July 1, and ends Aug. 31.
For more information, please visit http://coke.com/forthedream.
Coca-Cola Themed Summer Prize Pack GIVEAWAY
After you have enter the #FortheDreamSweeps, I have another fun giveaway! Who loves Coca-Cola gear? Thanks to Coca-Cola, I have a fun Coca-Cola-themed Summer Prize pack that features a logo cooler bag, sunglasses, Mason Jar tumbler and a visor for one lucky Que Means What reader!