I grew up living in a dream that I don’t think I could have thought-up if I had tried. I was
a tomboy in New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state. I wanted nothing but knowledge,
famliy and friends, because I had everything materialistic that I could have wanted. I took
things for granted. I did not realize, until I later saw how hard it was for my single mother
to provide for three kids, how important money can be. Without it, we have to count on other
people, and that can be a very hard line to walk.

Recently, I realized that I have spent money on school and things I need for it, like this
computer, without thought. I thought I had realized, after the divorce, to be money-conscious
— but something had blinded me to the amounts I was spending.

I want to be even better-off than my parents were when I was growing up, but I do not know
how to do that in this day and age. Now, I might need to get a part-time job off-campus to
fund my weekend trips to see my boyfriend. And I might have to take him up on his offers to
pay for things when we go out. I always felt like I could do it alone, but I am realizing that
I might not be able to.

Thinking ahead is something I do well; I mean, most college students do not have investments,
especially for retirement. But knowing that that money is there and not here (helping me feel
more comfortable) is tough.

I want to be able to pay off my loans when I am out of college, so getting an education that
would provide that high-paying job means staying here. I know that I can succeed, and am not
afraid to admit to being ambitious.

Ambition can be for money or status, but I like to think to think of it differently. I want
to travel and learn all that I can, meeting people along the way. I want to use my abilities
towards something bigger than myself, maybe some scientific finding that can be attributed
to me. And I’d like to help someone else find the right path for him or her; maybe this will
be through having a child, or leading a group of some kind. These are the things I would like
to see behind me before I die. I want to appreciate each day that I live, and learn to be the
best “me” that I can be.