Growing up, I always knew that college was in my future; I come from a middle-class family who simply expected me to go. When I was twelve, I decided I wanted to go to law school. My path seemed set from the day I was born, and so did those of my older sister and the younger one. So I headed off to college my freshman year, ready to get an undergraduate degree in Economics before heading to law school.
I am one of the few and far people you will find that genuinely believes economics is the greatest thing to ever happen to the world. I genuinely find it to be fascinating and useful, and it is just the right degree of challenging. My future was set from day one, and I had no questions about it.
Halfway into my first semester, however, I received a call from my sister wherein she told me she was dropping out of college. She didn’t want to finish the semester; she was completely and utterly done with it. It seemed such a contradiction to my own experience: I loved college, my friends, and freedom. I believe it was this moment that really shaped my college career.
Though I support my sister no matter what her decisions are, and I know her decision was for the best, it put a lot of pressure on me to succeed. My parents were no longer looking at two daughters to succeed in college, but only at one. It made me feel the need to work harder to make up for my sister’s decision to drop out. I couldn’t bear the idea of throwing away the money of my parents, as they helped both of us through college, and I felt like I had to make up for the cash they’d given to my sister.
The biggest obstacle for me was trying to ensure that I did my best and did not slack; I did not want to disappoint my parents. I locked myself in my room at times, and I didn’t always hang out with my friends when they got together. I really sacrificed a social life to get my schoolwork done. And I believe it is because of this that I can truly thank my parents for my newfound work ethic in college. It was a reminder that sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to but in the end are so much worth it.
As I am nearing graduation, I look at the classes I have left to take and am amazed. I cannot believe that I was a freshman with rosy-eyed glasses in college not too long ago. Now that I’ve taken those hard classes and learned the importance of work ethic, I am more than excited to pursue my twelve-year-old self’s dream of going to law school.
We are proud to announce Hannah Dunaway is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.