If you had asked me 5 years ago what I thought my life would be like at 23 years old, I would have not expected any of what I’ve been blessed with. In fact, I never really quite thought of what my future life would be at the ripe age of 18. At 18 I was a closet rebel. I read a lot of books and stayed in my own room for the most part. I did my chores. I was to myself. And when I watched family members who were a few years older than I was change from teens to adults, I always thought I would just be at home with my parents and walking through life with no difficulties… no worries. But that all soon changed when my friends started looking at colleges to apply to and lives to live. I didn’t give college much thkught either. Here I was, a good student, settling, assuming to stay close to home and go to community college close by. I never gave my future much thought. Not because I didn’t want to… But because I was not pushed to. My parents – mom and step dad worked all of the time, with little to no time for life conversations. There was not a push to go to a university and get a 4 year degree. None of it. So when it came time for me to apply to colleges I looked at places that didn’t require for me to pay the usual hefty application fee because I didn’t have the money for that. I found two places that allowed me that flexibility. The waiting game started and ended. Months later I did receive a letter of acceptance. I was thrilled. For the very first time, my future was looking up… I actually did have a future to look forward to. Fast forward time. I went to that college that gave me the acceptance letter. With a lot of difficulties but most of my memories were positive ones. With a lot of determination and encouragement I graduated and survived the craziest four years in that university. When most college graduates thank their parents for their motivation… I thanked myself. I didn’t get to college with my parents’ help. In fact they discouraged me from moving 4 hours away. They were so used to me helping them hand and foot that they did not care about my future. I thrived on my own. I made it. Now during my last semester in undergrad my then boyfriend/now husband of mine found out we were expecting a baby. I carried our baby the first few months and my friends and professors not knowing the big secret I was keeping. I did it to protect myself and to make the big focus my education that I was going to finish regardless of the obstacles that were in my way. I did it. I completed. Secret was out of the bag several months later but I did it. And it was the courage it myself and the support of the father of my child that gave me the extra push to make it towards the finish line.