After I got admission in the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 2006, I had no choice but to get a part-time job to manage my educational costs and my grandparents’ legal and medical bills. A few months prior, my grandmother and father moved from our country of birth to the United States because of the civil war in our country. To prevent my grandmother from being sent back, my father had to hire an attorney to be intervened on her behalf and to get legally status in the United States. My father and I were lucky to escape from the similar situation a few years prior through the United Nations Refugees program. My father’s income was very low and my grandparents could not work to earn money because they were undocumented at the time.Facing these difficulties, I felt obliged to assist my father foot the bills of the family and that was the time, when my part-time job turned into a full-time job at the detriment of my grades. However, our family financial and personal situations remained almost same for the next 3 years. I did not know whom should I call for help. I felt like trapped in a difficult situation. On one hand, I could not stop helping my family and on the other hand, my grades were getting affected. I just kept doing hard work to support my family at the detriment of my education. Unfortunately, my university could not handle my poor academic performance for so long and I was handed a three years academic suspension from the University.With my academic fate set at the time, I decided to look for another job out of the city. I decided to join the Navy on a short termed contract. The training and counseling assistance that I received through military was very great. Despite being located at distance from my family in California, my job as a logistics specialist in the Navy not only helped me support my family financially but also guaranteed my educational costs for the next 15 years. Such financial assistance and guarantees from the military have proven to be very handy now because they have made me decide to complete my degree in petroleum engineering while having the minor in Finance.As I matured physically and mentally, my attitude regarding my past academic and personal setbacks changed because some of those setbacks have helped me better understand the true value and necessity of education. If I could go back to my past now, there are not too many things that I would do otherwise
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