Sometimes, due to the stress of classes, exams, and any other extra curricular activities that we are apart of, it is easy to forget what a wonderful and privileged opportunity we have in front of us. As college students, especially first generation college students, we represent a small fraction of the population. There are many people who do not have the chance to go to college, whether its because they can not afford college, have to work to take care of their family, or live in a country where higher education is not easy to obtain. Many of those individuals would love to be in our place so we should not take it for granted.
USC has given me the chance at a brighter future. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and graduated from an under performing high school. During those times, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today. Now, as a sophomore at USC, I am closer to reaching my goal of attending medical school. Being the first in my family to go to college puts me in a pivotal position. I am not only working to make my mom proud, but also to remain a role model to my sisters and help them get into college.
Along with being thankful for having the opportunity to be at USC and setting a good example for my younger sisters, I am thankful for the people who helped me get here. Growing up in a low income, single-parent household, it can be difficult to find the support and resources necessary to push for higher education. I am thankful for my family, who did everything they could for me. Thanks to Upward Bound, the college prep program I joined in my freshman year of high school, I was able to stay ahead in school. And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the scholarship programs (including CSO!) for believing in me and helping me afford USC’s hefty tuition!
For those of you who are freshman, applying to college, or still in high school, remember to always be thankful for what you have and the position you are in. Be thankful for having the chance to go to college and take control of your future. Don’t take it for granted. College is a different experience. You are going to meet a lot of new people. No matter what don’t let your social life affect your academics. Remember what you’re in school for and do your best. Have fun, but not too much fun!