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My life at Fullerton College has definitely been a long journey. I took a semester off after graduating high school and started Fullerton College in spring 2007. I started at the very bottom, and placed in lower level courses. I soon realized that I had a long road ahead of me. When I first started attending Fullerton College I had the luxury of living with my mother, rent free. I had no worries and I thought it would be easy to finish in two years. I was taking all the general education courses in order to transfer to a four year university, but 2008 is when it got really hard. I was working part time, and would help with any bills that I could in the house. Sadly my mother lost her second job in 2008, and as a family we had to pull together. My mother immediately went looking for another job, but only found work with a schedule that would conflict with my sibling’s school schedule. I decided to help my mother out by quitting my job and taking care of my sibling’s. At this point I was still in school part time, but I made I worked around my sibling’s school schedule. I made sure I was there to help with their homework, make dinner, and get them ready for bed.

By the end of 2008 things almost went back to normal and I was able to get a job. Still my mom wasn’t making enough money for everyone to live in our home and by mid-2009 we received our eviction notice. My mother could no longer have me living in her home, it was not financially feasible. At 21 I moved out into a one bedroom apartment and began working full time. I lived in Ontario and tried to stay at Fullerton College by taking online courses, but I was working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week. I could not find time to keep up with my schooling and sleep, so I dropped out of all my courses. I moved one more time before 2011, now to the San Bernardino area.

I was content with my situation and felt it was ok that I stopped going to school. I lost sight of how important my education is in my life. I did not attend school for all of 2010, and it wasn’t until mid-2011 that my life took another turn. I will never forget what an older gentleman told me at my job one day in a conversation we had. He said, “There is no point in trying hard, things will never work out like you want them, you might as well settle for the life you have”. This statement changed my life forever. I was stuck in a rut, and what I thought was contentment of my new found independence was really my willingness to settle for mediocrity. I knew I had to make a change, and that meant going back to school. I started back in fall of 2011 and felt rejuvenated.

I attended a community college in San Bernardino and took two courses. I learned a lot, but it still did not feel right. I missed the compassion and drive I felt from the professors at Fullerton College. Although I missed Fullerton College, I did not have to money to attend the school and still support myself by working full time. In November of 2011 I started a new job, which is the one I am currently at. This job had better hours, and allowed me to go to school at night. In July 2012 I moved to Upland and started back again at Fullerton college in August.

This is my last semester at Fullerton College. I am working full time and taking 15 units. Fullerton College has blessed my life, and I know this was the starting point in my education. My life has taken many turns and I am not the ordinary person who finishes at a community college in 2 years. Fullerton College will always hold a special place in my heart. I only hope that when I reach my ultimate goal of becoming a professor that I can impact my students to keep pushing through hard times and never give up under any circumstance.