"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." — Colin Powell

I am a full-time senior working three jobs. I work part-time as a student assistant at my university during the day. A couple times a week, I spend my time in a church nursery. In my free evenings and the weekends, I help a family friend around her home.

With all of this, however, I still make the bare minimum.

I'm blessed to have grants and scholarships that help me with expenses. I'm doubly blessed to have finally been able to purchase a vehicle, but this means the majority of my paychecks go to car payments, leaving little for groceries and gas (hence the extra job opportunities).

Every opportunity and struggle has led to this moment. It's so easy to sit and complain about the extra load I have to take on, while people around me are able to rely on their parents for support.

When I get in this mindset, I force myself to stop and consider a couple things. First, if I were to ever have children, I would want to provide for them in any way I could. I shouldn't resent those who can be provided for in this way. Second, I've learned some invaluable life lessons from supporting myself.

When I started college, I would often hit a bump in the road and call my mom. She would bail me out and everything would be fine... until the next bump came along. My mother is the sweetest, and she would do anything for me, but there came a point when she simply couldn't support me financially anymore.

Finding jobs was a struggle for a couple of years. I even faced eviction a few times. After a while, however, I finally found a groove. Budgeting became easier. For several months, I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck. Finally, I was able to purchase a car, and the paycheck-to-paycheck living returned.

Now here I am, working three jobs and trying to finish school.

Sometimes I just want to give up — it seems like so much work for so little pay-off. Then I remember: quitting is never an option. I've climbed my way up from the bottom, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The last five years have made me cry, sweat, laugh, form and lose friendships, as well as find and rediscover myself.

The last five years have tested my faith and my resolve, but I know that after I walk that stage, I can do anything.

The hard times mold us into the strong people we are becoming. Embrace your struggles. You can get through anything for 10 seconds.