Never give up hope

My name is Cassandra Cardona and I am a recent graduate from Johnson & Wales University North Miami Campus where I got my Bachelors Degree of Science in Marketing with Concentrations in Psychology and Human Resource. I currently reside in Western Mass as a Receptionist at A Million-Dollar Company providing Aircraft parts for Sikorsky and the Military. I hope to open day open up a range of different companies and be an inspiration for young woman.

College is a time when you learn about yourself. Your weakness, strengths, areas of opportunities, your goals in life and most importantly what you want to be. As the first generation in my family to go to college, I was constantly reminded that college would be more of a burden financially at first and that I should focus of working and getting my life started then to go back to school. I was also reminded that everyone in my family didn’t go to college and they turned out all right, why did I need to go?

Then there was school. In High School, I wasn’t the brightest pupil but I took the time to realize that what I had most people didn’t. Such as life experiences and the ability to take risks, to stand up for what I believed in and most importantly how to reach out for help or when to never give up, and to be persistent.

In College, being surrounded by individuals who excel higher in many courses than I, that came from many different high schools from all over the world, that where more intellectual than I, it made me feel small and I became unaware of my qualities and my strengths, but focused on the negatives; my weakness. It was in the midst of all that a Professor that I looked up to, saw my potential and encouraged me to enter into The Direct Marketing Association Contest. Although I kept saying I couldn’t be better than everyone in my class, let alone everyone in my school, he helped me to grow my confidence, and it was I who won the First Place Prize.

In that moment I realized it’s not about where we come from or what abilities we have, but the desire and strength to do better, to learn and to ask questions and to not be afraid to take risks. So what if you fall a few times, its getting up and continuing on that makes you stronger. Defeats don’t mean you’re weak, it means you have to learn to be better. It encourages you to do and be better.

Although after winning that contest I entered into many different ones after and although I never got first place again, but received third or second place, I learned that life isn’t measured on how you compare to others but on how you hold onto your dreams and never let them go.

My advice to freshman and those who are in college whether you are blessed to come from the best schools, or not, remember to not compare yourself to others. We are all made differently, we all have different pasts, different life stories, and we are each unique to ourselves. Let college be the time to find out what makes you unique, what inspires you to be you, and most importantly never lose hope to be the best you can be.

Yours truly,
Cassandra Cardona

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