Since I was a little kid, I had big dreams and a big personality. I always told my parents I was going to be the first female president or the CEO of a big company. My dad always repeats a story about me when I was six to show people that I have always been mature for my age and a big character. We were out to dinner and our waitress said, “Hi sweetie. We have apple juice, milk, lemonade, or grape juice.” I looked at the waitress with no hesitation and said, “Can I have seltzer in a rocks glass with a splash of cranberry juice.” The waitress was baffled, according to my father, and just looked at my parents like “Is she serious?”
I grew up in the restaurant business because my parents owned their own place. I witnessed truly back-breaking work and the meaning of sacrifice. My parents truly instilled in me a sense of personal pride and work ethic that influenced me to work for myself as soon as I was of age to do so. Growing up self sufficient and independent made it feel like working as much as I could to set myself up for a future I wanted, was a no-brainer.
Working Hard In School
My dreams have since evolved and I have become dead set on a CEO position, but more specifically in a major cosmetic company to capitalize on my love for the beauty industry and my natural leadership skills. In order to make this dream a reality, I know that a competitive, cutting-edge education is the only way to achieve this goal.
When I turned sixteen, I started working my first job to save money for college. While everyone around me was being heavily supported financially by their parents, I was taking an independent route. Because of the cards I had been dealt, my parents did not have money put away for my education after their business failed from the 2008 recession. I currently work three jobs, totaling close to 40 hours per week.
I am a party hostess and cashier at my local bowling alley, which requires a 7am wake up call every Saturday morning. My Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays are filled with the sound of bowling pins crashing down and little kids screaming with excitement. After school each day, I am a nanny for in-home after-school care to help with homework, make meals, and drive them to practices. I also pick up babysitting hours on the weekends whenever possible for date nights. My third job is as a beauty advisor at Kohl’s, where I work 6pm-close during the week along with Saturday and Sunday nights.
Always Filling My Schedule With Work
This schedule is exhausting and really demands the best balance of my time as possible, but I believe that this sacrifice will benefit my future in the long run. During the summer I will be a full-time nanny from 9-5pm, as I was last summer, from Monday to Friday. My evenings will include working at Kohl’s and my weekends will include more bowling alley time.
I have saved around $10,000 for my education while still paying for my necessary expenses and helping my family. I am extremely proud of how hard I have worked the last two years, while most of my friends spent their time going out and I spent mine hustling for my goals! I intend to keep a job during college as well and have signed up for the federal work study program.
Life Is About How You React To Situations
I have always been motivated by the concept that you cannot control the life you are given or the situations you are in, only how you react to them. Truly having to sacrifice and work very hard to put myself through college allows me to build character and a value for time that I may not have developed otherwise. I am actually thankful for the fact that I have not had everything handed to me throughout my life, because it has given me class and appreciation that many people are missing. So although I may be temporarily disappointed when my friends invite me somewhere and I cannot go, I quickly remember that this is the path I have chosen because I know I will benefit in the future.
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Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.