"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." - Wayne Dyer


Friday, October 10, 2014

New Chapters and Open Doors

Recently, my husband and I made the decision to move to the United States early, instead of waiting until I graduate from school in Puerto Rico. However, that does not mean that I am abandoning my studies to get a better paying entry level job in the United States. I have decided it best for me to transfer to Elon University to complete my final year of college, and I feel that God has yanked the door wide open for us.

Elon is a magnificent school; it is one of the top schools on the East Coast coming in as a close second to Tisch University of NYU. I have been working on my application materials, and I am happy to announce that I have finished my personal essay.

In case you are in the process of writing an essay as well, I am posting the essay as an example. 

I would also love to hear feedback! Let me know if you loved it, or if it belongs in the toilet! 

Why I Chose Elon
By Sabrina Halliburton

The first time I ever heard about Elon University was during my first semester of my junior year in Enloe High School. Mr. Leslie Curry, our television production teacher, was offering us valuable advise on how to begin a career in the entertainment industry. He suggested that we try to attend one of two of the best film universities on the east coast; Tisch of NYU or Elon University in North Carolina. I fell in love with the television and film industry in his class; so naturally, I decided to follow his advice. Since North Carolina had been the most permanent home I’ve had, I knew the Elon was the obvious choice. I dreamed of walking around the beautiful campus, learning behind an industry quality camera, and taking notes on lectures given by professors who are successful in their area. However, I soon found that God had other plans for my life, and just when I thought he had closed the door to Elon for good, I realized he had simply been telling me to wait.
For the first seven years of my life, my family and I lived in New York, New York. My mother and father got divorced when I was very young due to the abusive nature of their relationship. To keep my older brother and I safe and away from my father, my mom moved us from shelter to shelter in the city until finally settling down with my stepfather in North Carolina. I fell in love with our new home immediately. I loved being able to run around the backyard with our dog, and I enjoyed learning to ride my bicycle on the street in front of our house. There, I made priceless memories that I would not trade for anything in the world. My brother however, did not thrive in Raleigh as I had. He was problematic and rebellious as a child and often found a way to make trouble in whatever school he attended. Eventually, when he was expelled from the Wake County Public School System, and Camden Military Academy,  my mother decided that it would be best for our family to move to her native island of Puerto Rico. At 14 years old, I was not thrilled with the idea of leaving the life I had built behind. On top of that, everything was different in Puerto Rico. High school there does not begin until the 10th grade, so I had to spend an extra year in middle school, which is a big deal for an adolescent. Also, I was excluded and made fun of because I spoke Spanish with a thick American accent, my peers used to call me, La Gringa. At that time I tried absolutely everything to get out of Puerto Rico; I even applied to a boarding school in Michigan, Interlochen. Though I was accepted and offered a substantial scholarship, my mother did not allow me to attend. For a time, I was extremely depressed and saw no hope for my future.
About a year later, after my mother joined the Army Reserve, I was given the opportunity to live with my best friend in Raleigh, which is where it all began. Upon returning to Puerto Rico six months later, I decided to take control of the events that would shape the rest of my life.  I began attending youth group at my church regularly, and I boycotted going to school until my mother enrolled me in a school with an accelerated graduation program. I was able to finish high school when I was 17 years old and met my high school sweetheart. Soon after graduation, I was accepted to the best school for communications on the island and I moved in with Pedro Aleman, the love of my life. About halfway through college, Pedro and I got married and had a beautiful baby boy, Nico Isaac Aleman. Although it was challenging to work full time, study full time, and manage my small family, my love for film kept me motivated. I maintained good grades, participated in two internships on major films, wrote five screenplays and two books, and worked on two feature length productions as a production assistant. The only explanation I can give for my ability to accomplish such amazing things is my faith and close relationship with Jesus Christ. Whenever I was feeling exceptionally stressed overwhelmed, I would pray and remembered that God would never put us in a situation that we could not handle.
Despite knowing that, upon completing the first month of my senior year of university, I realized that something in my life needed to change. The demands and responsibilities of our life as young parents were starting to take their toll. Pedro and I wanted to move back to NC to give Nico a better life, and to find better jobs. We were both tired of the eternal summer sun of the tropical little island. Something inside me clicked, and I realized that if there was ever a time for me to attend Elon it is now. Instead of sulking through my last year of college, I want to rediscover the joy of attending school. I am no longer going to let being in Puerto Rico hold me back from the incredible, career changing opportunities that wait me. My family and I deserve to live a lifestyle of peace and happiness where there is no limit to the goals we can accomplish together!  

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