This article was originally written for, now a part of

There were many hurdles I had to jump in order to get to where I am today. I am only a freshman, meaning I still have many more challenges to face; but I feel very proud and I won’t waste the amazing opportunity I have to educate myself in college.

One thing that I had to be diligent about was staying in contact with all of the people who were helping me: counselors, teachers and the faculty and staff at all of the colleges I applied to. The best resources I had were my high school counselors; however, you need to be the one to utilize them. The more you go to them, the more you will benefit. During my senior year of high school, I went to my counselors’ office nearly every day with questions about the 15 or so local scholarships I applied for, college applications, financial aid and any other issues that came to mind.

A college degree is very important to me; I believe that in our modern world, it is necessary to live a good, economically secure life. Sure, there are many people who don’t have this education and find ways to live happily, but I just love the idea of learning so much and being that much more knowledgeable.

My family definitely helped me get through my high school years and guided me from the very beginning. I moved to the United States when I was only four or five years old; my father didn’t want to be in a “Third World” country because he knew his children’s potential. My mother and father both did their parts to get me to where I am today, and I am forever grateful for this.

Having the opportunity to study in America and attend a very good high school has helped me so much. I quickly began to understand the reality of the real world and the importance of having a solid education. With this in mind, I worked very hard to earn the grades I did and get into a respected school, like the State University of New York-College at Geneseo. I was told that I should always endeavor to major in what interests me and not what people tell me or what everyone else does. I have always been a math and science kind of guy, and for this reason, I chose to pursue biology or biochemistry in my undergraduate education. Although the majority of people think that you have to or should major in these fields, I am doing it for the genuine desire of learning more about them.

I plan to be very well prepared for my admittance into Medical School. The idea of eventually becoming a doctor and helping people feel better is just so amazing to me—it’s hard for me to put into words. Sometimes people think that I’m only choosing to be a doctor for the money; while this is one of the reasons, it certainly isn’t the main one. One big thing that I will have to accept is the difficulty and level of determination and perseverance it takes to become a physician. Not everyone can follow through and make it in the end, but I know that with all of the helpful resources I have and the hard work I will do, I can tough it out and achieve my dreams.

Everyone should take college seriously. There is a time for fun and partying, and a time for getting things done. The trick is to have a balance of both to make the best out of your college years. From time to time, the scale will tip one way or another; just make sure you know what you’re there for. Prioritizing, time management and hard work create the perfect blend to give you success in your higher education! I wish anyone who plans to attend college and anything beyond the best of luck.