Who is a role model for you as an architect? as a writer? as a student? as a person?
My role model for me as a person is my dad. Growing up as a kid, he always told me, nothing in life is easy, you always have to work hard for it. As a child, I would take everything for granted, even money. I was so spoiled, I didn’t know how to appreciate things. My dad came to this country with a student visa that he worked hard for, slept in the subway train for a week since he didn’t know anyone here, he struggled so much. I never knew all the struggles he went through because he would hide his conflicts and tears just to see me happy. I would always see him work long hours, with his clothes all dirty, not knowing he barely made enough money to maintain my brother and I. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when my parents got divorced, that he told me all the struggles he went threw and I sat there crying. I told myself that when I have kids of my own, they would have everything they ever wanted. I also decided that it was time I became independent so I wouldn’t be an extra weight on his shoulder. At the age of 16, I decided to get a job at target, and that is when I learned the value of what money was. Now at the age of almost 19, I managed to become a supervisor there, my next goal is too pursue my career. I appreciated how even though his paychecks weren’t enough , he would always save up and work overtime just so I can have an amazing childhood. I learned not everything is about materialistic things but about love . He made so many sacrifices just to keep a smile on my face. Despite my father’s age, he doesn’t stop working and playing the sport we both love, which is soccer and I admire him so much due to the fact that he came into this country as nothing, and is a successful happy man. He taught me morals, every good thing in life you have to work hard for. Every time life gets hard, I remember my father came here so I can have a better life, that’s what keeps me motivated.
Whats been the hardest thing you’ve had to learn- again, in formal education or in life?
The hardest thing I had to learn in life was coping with depression. When I was in high school, it was tough balancing school, work, and soccer practice all at once. Mostly everyday I would get home at 9pm from soccer games, and would have to do a bunch of homework and other projects. I would be so stressed and overwhelmed because life wasn’t fun since I was always busy. However, soccer was the only thing that made me forget about my life problems, especially my parents divorce. Along with the divorce, I was going through a rough heartbreak. I thought it was the end of the world, and everything was hitting me all at once. I did not want to eat, I began to lose weight, and my grades dropped . No one knew how I felt, because I was so good at hiding my feelings. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. Everyone surely already had problems of their own. I basically went through depression on my own. There were times were I would cry out of no where because I had no idea what I did to deserve such a horrible life. It took me a while to realize that life is beautiful and that it is worth living. I learned to appreciate the things around me. That’s when I came to a conclusion that things happen for a reason, it is what it is. In life, there isn’t anything one can’t overcome.
How did you know college in general or City Tech specifically was the right choice for you? was it always?
I knew college was the right choice for me because I wanted to become someone important in life. Completing high school was a step towards my goal but now that I am in college, I feel like I have more chances to succeed. For example, going to college will allow me to be successful in the field I am majoring in which is architecture because of my exposure with the different classes that I’m taking. The skills that I learned from these classes will allow me to use them in the future. With a bachelor’s degree, I can have access to more job opportunities and internships. Furthermore, college has allowed me to social network with other people from different age groups and other career paths. I wanted to be my own boss, and not be ruled by others. Sometimes when I would be at work having a bad day, I would tell myself this is why I have to get a degree so I can be self employed. No one wants to work long hours, for example I either work a 7-4 or a 2-11 and it would leave me so drained. Everyone wants to be their own boss, and make their own schedule. Without hard work and endurance you can’t get no where in life.