Do not be afraid to challenge yourself. Most of my college life, I took about 6 credits (2 classes) a semester. Occasionally, I took 12 credits (4 classes) which is considered full time. People would always tell me if I take more classes, I am setting myself up for failure. During most of my collegiate career, I believed them. I did not trust myself to be disciplined to balance a full workload plus work and hobbies. Fortunately, I was wrong. Not only did I have the ability to handle a full course load, I grew in knowledge as a result of challenging myself to do more.

After graduating from Valencia College with my Associates, I went to Florida International University. For the first time in my post-high school life, I took 15 credits. I struggled that semester but I made it. The next semester which was Spring, I took 18 credits. The reading assignments, projects, homework, etc were daunting. But I decided to press on, move forward, and dedicate my time and energy to committing myself to my goals. That was the right decision. That semester, I made the Dean’s list for the first time in my life! A lesson I learned that will follow me forever is: You never know how much intelligence, perseverance, and strength you have until you need it.