When I first enrolled here at the University of Memphis in the fall of 1998, I never thought I would ever be in the position to graduate. Finishing college was a huge goal growing up but it was also my biggest fear. But after three and a half years of dedication I plan to get my degree in the fall of 2002. Getting this far in college was not easy, it took encouragement from family, dedication, and assistance from others to reach this position.

Many years ago I remember my parents telling me that in order for me to become successful a college education was a must. . They always told me that if I wasnt in school I could no longer live at home. Both of my parents attended college but neither of them finished. They did not want me to go down that same road because they really regret not getting their degrees.

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My grades in elementary school were poor because I had trouble paying attention to things that were not challenging. I tried to play sick just about every day but my parent were not falling for it. My favorite classes were gym, music, and art. Competing in sports is where I spent most of my time. The words of my parents and teachers went in one ear and out the other.School just wasnt interesting to me
My senior year of high school I decided to dedicate my self to school work. All I did was take school a little more seriously and pay attention. Before you know it I had made the honor roll for the first time and continue to make it the rest of the year. Finally the extra work was reflecting in my grades. My parents were glad to see that my education had some meaning.
That summer after school I just wanted to find a job and start making some money. Going to college for anther four year was something I thought I could not handle. I final got a job at UPS unloading trucks. At first I thought how hard could it be? But every day I would come home exhausted from working in the heat. And then when I got tiny pay check, it hit me. From then on I decided that manual labor was something that I could not do the rest of my life and I could definitely not support a family on that income. A job behind a desk in the air conditioning was what I wanted. And the only way to get that was through college. I needed an office job.

So in the fall of 1998 I enrolled at the University of Memphis. I then joined the track team that semester. Athletic counselors assisted me in adjusting to the college life. They told me what classes and teachers to take and even offered me tutoring. If I ever had a problem they had the solution.
At first my plan was to see how far I could get before the school would kick me out. I simply didnt believe that graduating was possible. But as the years passed the school work got easier. Calculus and accounting gave me some trouble so I took those classes at Southwest Community college where it was much easier. After my sophomore year I was determined to get my degree. I had come so far that quitting was just not an option. The closer I got the larger my desire grow. Finally my senior year arrived and I could not believe it. It was a dream come true.

After seven semesters of some ups and downs, I am one semester away from receiving my degree in Marketing/Logistics. Without my families encouragement, dedication and assistance from others I would not be in this situation. I cant wait to see the expression on my parents face when I hand them that diploma.
So if everything works out I will soon be looking for a job that doesnt require hard hours of labor in the heat.