After graduating college with a degree in Biology. I ventured off to the far east where I spent a year teaching English in China. It is here where I began to pay my own way. I paid for rent, all my groceries, all my nights out and after 6 months, my student loans. I was making the equivalent to American minimum wage, however in China it was like living as a middle class citizen. The exchange rate was in my favor and everything was so damn cheap. I then began to take on part time work as an english tutor where I was making between 30-50 dollars an hour to teach english to well to do Chinese families and their kids. I was making good money. I had enough for my loans, food and lots of extra. I spent a week in Thailand during Chinese New Year and still I had money being saved. However, personal goals and family pressure forced me to back to the States. I didn't really have a plan, and I was admittedly a little softened by how easy everything was in China. English teachers were in high demand there, and when you are a handful of people in a country of a billion who is a native speaker, work comes pretty easy. But now I was back home and I took a temporary job working for my father who is an optometrist. I was essentially a glorified secretary who occasionally did preliminary testing on patients. I eventually made it up the ranks to fitting and selling glasses, however my pay didn't change. I was living at home on 300 dollars a week while simultaneously being seriously under stimulated at work. Not to mention how mind numbing it can be living at home, in the suburbs. It was as if I was stuck in the dreaded "Waiting Place" Dr. Seuss talked about. Isolated from the world both socially, economically and professionally, I was devastated. On top of that, the pressure from my family to stay added more pounds of pressure to the equation. But after much scratching and clawing I eventually found a position in a non-profit in Boston called Tenacity. Although, working at a non-profit may not sound like much of a success story it was just enough to gain my independence. I currently have an apartment in Jamaica Plain, paying $500 a month (almost unheard of in Boston). To save money I eat in at least 5 days a week. I specialize in rice and beans (avg cost per meal is $2.00), I only eat meat occasionally, I have completely given up drinking coffee in the morning, and I only drink alcohol on the weekends, and rarely in bars. Most importantly I have infiltrated a network of people that can lead further to my success, both financially, professionally and personally.