My name is Alicia and I am currently a student enrolled full time. After the graduation of high school I realized that I was not able to afford my college education. There was two major factors in my life: 1. My dads income was to high for aid. 2. I was not my dads problem financially, he fed me and assumed thats all he had the rights to do, but I was still bonded to him by law. There was little options and I wanted to remain on their health insurance so what was I to do? It was a hard time in my life, as I started working 3 jobs nearly 20 hours a day to support myself and save up. At the time I did not think of college or even attending, for me I thought of college for the privileged, and I convinced myself I did not have the privilege. However, I had no idea what I was talking about. I knew about community college, but I had no idea what a great resource it was. Although I still did not have nearly enough money, I had went to talk to somebody at a nearby college. I was able to get a loan from the federal student aid, no I didn't get free money but I was able to start my journey. One of my favorite things to do is shop, just like the average girl likes to do, but I had to stop so that I could afford my way through school. I work 2 jobs while being a full time student and I save over 1/2 of my paycheck. I don't eat out, or spend my money on fast food--if you shop at the grocery store you save so much money if you shop right. Textbooks are probably one of the most scariest parts of school for me. I found out about little boards that students advertise the books they are selling, it had truly saved me a ton of money! I also explained to my teachers my issues and some of them were nice enough to give me a Code for the class, which is a big relief, for those of you who know the expensive of access codes for some courses. Phew! I learned not to just assume that I was unable to live this dream as everyone as could, I asked questions, I took a stand for my future. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and although I am not 100 percent successful yet, I am nearly there and I can taste it. It's hard to find motivation when things are always bringing you down, but one thing I had to open my eyes to was that there are so many people in your situation. I am going to be the first college graduate in my family and one of my biggest accomplishment is that I am nearly done paying off my first 2 years of college and I did it myself and I live and breathe to say it is possible to fund your education without your parents motivation or their money. You just need to believe in yourself and you might need to work 2 jobs or maybe 3 jobs at some point in life, but I promise it is possible and you will feel truly blessed once you complete this goal.