The expense piled up before college even started. The terrors terrorized me as I pondered how I would afford to pay for college and receive the education that I deserved. Growing up in a single mother household with no contact or help from my father displayed its challenges. Of course money was always short, especially with my mom ensuring that my sister and I received the best education. However, this education came with a lot of costs, but also myriad of benefits as well. My mom struggled day after day to send my sister and me to the best private schools in order for us to achieve a better future than her present. She spent countless days as a martyr at work, overtime, vacation hours lost, and weekends to make not even a penny of what the education would cost us to receive. She always made sure that her children came first before her and that we always had what we needed, even if we did not always get what we wanted. This lesson invoked a sense of determination to make it easy on my mother when I was applying for college. When it came time for my sister and I to apply, my mom sat down with us and we went through hundreds and hundreds of scholarship opportunities. My grandfather would always tell me you never know if you don’t try, so what is the hurt in trying? My mom and me would continuously finish one application and move on to the next. When defeat came, in which a scholarship was not granted, she always would motivate me to apply to another one. When one door closes, another opens, she reminded me. As a high school senior, my mom and I started early. This decision is key to finding the best scholarships and giving you time to apply for them. Even if I did not think I had a chance of winning a scholarship, my mom said apply. You are not losing anything from applying. You can only turn out a winner. The Coca Cola scholarship was one of the scholarships that proved this idea to be true. 84,000 participants submitted applications and only 250 were selected. I was determined to continue with the process, no matter how unlikely the probability of receiving the scholarship. Then, I made it pass one round and another and another, until I found myself in the top 250 with the opportunity to meet Morgan Freeman. Who knows where life will take you if you do not take the chance! Do not be afraid of being denied, because there is always another opportunity waiting for you. This opportunity is yours, but you need to go out and reach for it. After receiving numerous scholarships, certifications, and awards, I was ready to begin college, knowing that there were many more opportunities to apply for or receive awards and scholarships. As college began, I also took on some campus jobs and tutoring positions. Having a passion for baking, I was enthused when I was asked to be the Campion Baker, which is a baker for the Campion Chaplain’s House at Holy Cross. It was always fun and relaxing after a long day to go in and bake cookies, while having the interactions with other students, faculty, and staff. Then I applied for a RA position and received it. All of these positions helped decrease my room and board and helped me pay little by little for my education. While holding these positions, I wisely decided to put away ten or twenty bucks a week, or however much I could afford for that week. By the end of the four years, you will never imagine how much you can save up! These decisions will help make it easier to pay off any loans that one had to take out. When you are almost about to graduate and decide where your future is headed next, remember about Student Loan Forgiveness programs and check out to see if your loans can be forgiven or if you can defer payment based on the program you are entering. All of these steps have helped make it a smooth ride through the four years of college and continue to help me in my endeavors and future journey to law and graduate school, while remaining employed.