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Student Voice

Okay, I Admit It, They Were Right About Going to College

They all believed I should go to college. I didn’t agree. My parents and teachers were right. It took me a while to admit it. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I decided to listen to them and work hard in school with the hope that I would achieve my parents’ dream for me—acceptance into a four-year college. The truth is, I was not very hardworking nor was I a respectful student during the first two years of high school. I thought that most adults didn’t seem to know what was best for me. The more they told me what they thought I should do, the less I wanted to do it. During my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I didn’t work hard. My grades were low and my attitude was bad. I was rude to the adults in my life. Only now, as I prepare to graduate from high school next month, do I see they were all trying to help me be successful. I was lucky to have them pushing me to do the right thing. I’m glad they kept believing in me despite how difficult I made it. The summer going into my junior year something clicked. I heard from older kids that junior year was a very important year with a heavy workload. I made a decision to change. I dedicated myself to following my parents’ advice, working hard and setting a goal. My goal was to be accepted into the University of Rhode Island’s pharmacy program. I knew that if I could accomplish that, I’d be on my way to a future of success, one in which I’d be able to support myself and also give back to my family. In my native Venezuela, I would not have had the opportunities I have here in America. I think it would be a bit ungrateful of me if I didn’t do everything I could to go to college. If we had stayed in Venezuela, I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to apply to the college of my choice and study whatever I wanted. My parents struggled to give me this opportunity and it would have been wrong for me to waste it. Although my parents desperately wanted me to attend college, I couldn’t just do it for them. I needed to figure it out on my own. After spending my junior and senior year working as hard as I could in school and on my basketball teams, I hoped that this new version of myself would be able to achieve the goal of getting into college. I got serious about my studies and treated the people who were always there for me better. I’m so happy and grateful to report that I was accepted into the pharmacy program at URI. My parents are ecstatic and proud. And I am, too. I know that I will have to work very hard to become a licensed pharmacist but I also know that my future and my family’s future will be so much brighter if I succeed. I’m determined to do just that.  
Alejandra Pernia is a graduating senior from Paul Cuffee High School in Providence and a big basketball fan. A native of Venezuela, Alejandra will attend the University of Rhode Island’s pharmacy program this fall.
Alejandra Pernia
Alejandra Pernia is a graduating senior from Paul Cuffee High School in Providence and a big basketball fan. A native of Venezuela, Alejandra will attend the University of Rhode Island’s pharmacy program this fall as a first-generation college student.

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