Michelle Obama once said, “it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” One of the biggest life challenges I had was being from a poor socio-economic background, where I often lacked the resources, opportunities, and even the simplest joys in life that my peers had. My family was experiencing a series of devastating and costly events, ranging from medical emergencies to house problems. A quick succession put the family under tremendous debt, which limited many of my options for success and education from early childhood.
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Like some other families in this situation, whose kids never graduated, could barely keep a job, and engaged in questionable, if not criminal behavior, I thought my future was determined. However, I grew interested in financing and investment, even entrepreneurship, early on. As soon as I was 12, I began to work odd jobs, eventually switching to part-time positions as a teenager. I started saving up and making smart purchases, creating some financial independence for myself into later years of high school. This gave me the confidence and opportunity to pursue my dreams and education.
I do not think I would approach this situation much differently given the opportunity. Except for small fallbacks, I stayed the proper course of action by persevering and being determined. I sought out almost every chance that I could at the time. If anything, I would use the knowledge that I have now for more innovative long-term investments and perhaps spending some of the time that I chose to relax, on studying more, and improving myself. I realize how daunting and challenging the real world is, and it is essential for me to always be prepared for the future. I learned from this challenge that circumstance does not define who you are or what the future holds. One can withstand anything and overcome it with the proper determination. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed and unsure about the future, despite having apparent dreams for myself. However, reflecting back on what I have gone through, I tell myself to look up and hope, working slowly at achieving new steps on my journey. It is a lesson I will never forget.