When I used to tell people about my dream of studying in the U.S., most people thought I was crazy. How does a kid from Moldova get into college in the States? Mind you, I had no rich parents who could hand me the money to study. So if I wanted to study there, I had to have a full ride.
But I knew how bad I wanted it. Studying in the U.S. has always been my dream. So I kept working on it all the time. Literally. It was one of those “now or never” situations for me. When my classmates were partying, I was busy researching colleges, finding scholarships, and trying to make it all work. I was busy making good grades, studying for the SAT, writing my essays, asking for recommendations, getting into extra-curriculars, all of that. I was working night shifts at a call center and I’d come back home around 2 am hating that job*. Yes, I hated that job, but it helped me pay for my application fees, standardized tests, and mailing everything to the U.S.**
You see, I did not have a high school counselor or anyone else who could advise me. I took full responsibility for making my dream a reality. It was all on me, whether I succeeded or failed.
So when Gary Vaynerchuk talks about working 12-hour shifts during weekends while his friends would go to the Jersey shore, I know exactly what he’s talking about. I can relate because that’s exactly what I did – I worked my ass off for my dream. I gave my full self to the game.
Thankfully, I got into college in the States on a full ride. But if I didn’t, I would’ve known thatI tried everything that was in my power to get there.
Side note: Gary often talks about how he was a bad student in school and how he really hated it. But I was in a different position – I saw school as a way of achieving my dream.
* I was really sleep deprived during that time. Sometimes I’d stay up late for some webinar about college applications. Sometimes I’d be calling financial aid offices in the U.S. and because of the time-zone difference, I had to stay up late. But I knew that it would all be worth it in the end.
** I applied to 8 colleges total, which is probably overkill. But that’s just good ol’ Eugeniu for you.
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