From friends to finances, year has been filled with lessons

By Maria Maldonado on March 04, 2014
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My first semester in college was very stressful, but also a great experience. Although at times the workload and my two jobs felt overwhelming, I got through it with hard work and determination.

So far, this school year has not turned out as I had planned while in high school, but that does not bother me. Since late August I have learned from myself and from those around me. I was able to mature a bit more and realize what I really want for my future after I spend two years in a community college, which wasn’t my original plan.

Every academic year comes with lessons, whether we like it or not. The past semester has given me time to reflect on what I want for myself -- time to reflect on what career moves I want to make in about a year and a half, and what university or program I would like to attend.

I have been fortunate enough to have met a professor who has a career exactly like the one I want. He has been part of the film industry for several years now and has shared his experience with me. His stories encouraged me to continue my education because I realize how much passion I have for this field.

Although it seems like my dreams are light-years away, I know that with hard work and a positive attitude, they are possible to achieve.

Schedule is a balancing act

My “hangouts” with friends have been reduced tremendously! My schedule has been (and still is) filled. I am balancing being a full-time student, having two jobs, and taking care of my nephews a few days a week. Along with all of that come car bills, gas bills, grocery bills, school bills, and home bills.

It seems overwhelming, huh? Well that’s because it is. However, it’s all about how we balance the things in our lives, and how we take everything, whether in a positive or negative way. I could easily panic, but I have learned to have a calm attitude and take everything one step at a time. This past semester I learned that I need to plan efficiently or everything will collapse!

Although during my senior year in high school I had no idea my life would be like this, I am extremely happy at how it is all turning out.

Maturing with faith and patience

This year has made me realize how much I have matured. I have taken much more responsibility for my education and for my jobs. Everything that has happened has been a learning experience -- whether at my job, where I have been able to come out of my shell a bit more, or in my classes, furthering my education.

Paying bills is making me more responsible and is giving me a small preview of what it will be like once I am able to have my own place. Knowing how much everything costs and spending my money wisely is an important experience.

I think about how much I have accomplished since late August, and I feel so blessed. So much has happened this year in my life that I never would have imagined.

Some are difficult situations, but with faith and patience, I am able to feel accomplished every day.

About the Author

Maria Maldonado

Maria Maldonado

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