I was 14 years old when my mom kicked me out of her house and I went to live with my dad. He wasn't a bad father, he just wasn't a responsible one, ultimately, as I entered college I was recognized as an independent by the state. I worked full time my entire senior year of high school, saving every penny I had, and using all the funds I could muster to apply to over 13 separate schools. I was accepted to all 13 and was offered awards at each school, in the end I choose the most financially reasonable school and best sounding school for me. I moved across the country away from my family and hometown and discovered I had made a terrible choice in schools. I finished my freshman year and then dropped out of college, taking a year off I utilized that time to regroup and save money. I moved to Boston to establish in-state residency so that I could attend MassArt, began working full time as a custom art framer. This past year I was accepted to MassArt as a transfer student and began that fall as a Junior. Today I am a Senior at MassArt and I continue to work full time and attend school full time. I work 38 hours a week and this semester I attend 26 hours of classes and spend 20 hours a week commuting between school and work and home. My shifts at work are 11 to 12 hours long so that I can work as few days as possible and focus on my school work and my art. I am completely independent, each month I contribute to my retirement account, I pay my student loans and I write my health insurance check. It's hard to balance the responsibilities of school and work but I am so grateful that I can look at what I have accomplished and now it was my will power that did it. Without the hardships I have faced, my appreciation for my education would not be the same, and for that I am so grateful.