College is a Mandatory Thing in my Household

When I think about who has been influential in my life, my mom is the first person that comes to mind. She used to say that to live in her house rent-free, the minimum requirement was to have a Bachelor’s degree. This was my motivation to figure out what college I was going to. I definitely did not want to pay bills at home! At first, looking at colleges seemed simple, I went on college field trips and viewed their campuses but I then I realized I wasn’t that student applying for those schools, or even scholarships. I became terrified of the idea of college because it meant having the responsibility of going through the application process and ask questions, it all seemed like so much work.

I always depended on my mom to ask questions for me because she knew how to ask them. When she took me to San Antonio College to ask the admissions office about my status, she would stare at me waiting for me to answer as I sat there nervously. She coached me on what to say when I would call the college over the phone but I still felt like I depended on her for everything. In the back of my mind, I was rethinking if college is the best choice for me because it still scared me to feel alone. My parents didn’t go to college so they knew how important it was to push me to further myself after high school. I watched my dad struggle going through nursing school to earn his LVN license. My mom never finished school because she had me, so I felt as though this was a lot of added pressure. My parents are my true motivators because I wanted to do better for them. They have been my cheerleaders along my college journey. I made the financial decision to start at Palo Alto College, graduated with my Associate’s, and then transferred to Texas A&M University-San Antonio and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree.

I did do one thing right in high school by applying for financial aid on time, I was able to use my financial aid, working two jobs while going to college and came out of school debt-free! I wouldn’t have been able to complete my college journey without my parents pushing me to get it done, now I can proudly sit back and inspire my mom to pursue her college goals as she is in the process of completing her Bachelor’s degree.


Rosemary Rodriguez

Tier 2 College Access & Success Advisor, Road to Success and Alumni of SAEP Scholarship