Daryl Joyce Presiados’ Essay

After living in Kailua-Kona for six years, I have definitely become wiser and more ambitious. My goals and dreams come from comparing the two places I have lived and learned to love: the Philippines and Hawaii. I had a good life in the Philippines: big house, nice clothing, and respect from the lower-class neighbors. My expectations of having an even better life in the United States did not only lead to a big disappointment but taught me one of life’s greatest lessons.

I never would have imagined that living in Kailua-Kona would make me realize how it feels to be in the “lower-class”: small apartment, one car, and low-budget living. At the age of fourteen, I started working so I wouldn’t have to depend on my parents. I have worked as a cashier at McDonald’s and a cashier at Wal-Mart and both places did not satisfy me. It is not very exciting to live from paycheck to paycheck earning only the minimum wage. This situation made me want to think about careers I might pursue in the future. This situation made me think big…think better.

My mom always compared me to my oldest sister. She always reminded me that if I succeed in my studies, then I can be successful like my sister. It would always annoy me to listen to my mom’s lectures everyday, but after visiting my sister in California, I understood what my mom was telling me about.

My sister is a nurse, and she’s married to a nurse also. Just six months after moving to California, they were able to buy a four-bedroom house which they then fully furnished with new furniture, appliances, and decorations, and added a brand new SUV to their Toyota Sienna van. Her life is even much better than my life in the Philippines.

I constantly told my sister that she’s lucky because she has a good life and that I wanted to be like her someday. I could never forget what she replied to me. She told me, “Be what you want to be, not what others want you to be. Whatever you do, continue your education. Education is the only treasure that nobody can ever steal from you.” That opened up my mind. I wanted to be successful…and the only secret to success is education.

I decided to become a nurse, not because my sister is a nurse, but because it is one of the careers that even though I’m working for good money, I am also giving back to the community at the same time. I want to help people in the healthcare profession. I plan to go college in California because that’s where my sister lives, and it will help my parents and me save money to just stay with my sister for free.

I am planning to earn a degree in nursing and have been accepted at San Diego State University. Because I love to travel, once I earn my bachelor’s degree, I plan to become a traveling nurse. That way I can earn money while staying in a free housing and experiencing new lifestyles.

I have come to learn that instead of complaining and hating the bad conditions in life, one should have a more positive perspective. I have been inspired by my family and my own self esteem; that is the reason why I want to be someone better. Not only for my own happiness but to give a long lasting pride to the ones I love.