Man, oh man. Where do I begin... four years ago I made the decision to go to the University of Arizona to fulfill my dream of becoming a dancer. After countless auditions for both the dance program and dance team, I wasn't being offered what I wanted. I then made the decision with my parents to give myself time to really think what I want to do with my life and what I want to pursue as a career. I was undecided for almost two years in Arizona.
I worked almost every night at Highland Market making burritos, I tutored students that were on academic probation every single day, I modeled for my friends clothing lines, I was asked to help with photo shoots or music videos of very well known influencers, I worked in promoting nightclubs, I became physically healthy, I got my first commercial gig... I was basically doing it all! When I hit my junior year I knew I had to continue with something still involving the arts but as well as people and communication.
Becoming a film and television student has been such a blessing in disguise. If you told my high school self that this was my destiny at this point in my life I wouldn't believe you. However, I can tell you it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Once I found something I loved everything began to find its place. I got promoted to be paid for my tutoring job, I started becoming an excellent student that got onto the Dean's List every single semester, I got an internship with a production company and was rehired back, I am writing for the Arizona Odyssey, I got through it!!
My one focus was to succeed academically and to make as much money as I can so that I could save it for my dreams to come true. And I did it. I have less than four months left and the last check mark on my list is my diploma. I am counting down the days until I can live my life, my life the way I want it, not how society perceives it or how many of you perceive it.
A piece of advice to those that have been hustling, pushing hard through awful times, and trying to find some sense of life.... do whatever makes you happy. I know how it feels to want something but feel unsure or insecure about how to go about doing it. I am in a hugely competitive industry, it is important to have a positive attitude, create a set of values, and objectives for myself. That's what has been my security blanket in difficult times. Also, remember to give yourself permission to be new at this and keep learning, and that your time will come when it will. Most importantly and this is really hard to do, never compare yourself to what others are doing. Both in the industry and in life.
In May, I will be the first to go through each stage of the American education system in my family. This has been my driving force for my younger brother and little cousins since we are the first generation. I've only wanted to be the best role model and show to never give up, as bad as it gets. I'm not perfect. I've made so many mistakes, but my goal was to graduate and I'm almost there.