It is with like-minded individuals that I find most at peace with. If not for the fact that I can confide with them my goals, it is that I have the chance to be inspired, again, and remember why there is a purpose to what I enjoy doing, and who I am proud of being every day. Being very self-critical, I find that I battle with myself more than I would with others – naturally, I am more compassionate, because I understand that I have my own demons to sift through and come to terms with, which ultimately, makes me appreciate that we all have our own battles we face constantly, and at the very least what should be asked of from one another is a little empathy. Being around like-minded individuals gives me a chance to reflect, and remind myself that looking into the mirror ever so now and then, is for the opportunity to catch a breath and that life is not so much about developing our foundation as quickly as possible, but slowly and surely solidifying each column along the way up. I found that to listen to the burning desire – the ambition stirring inside – and discover that as I get older and wiser it continues to ring within me, I understand it will eventually become a calling that will reveal it to have a time and place for. It may not drive success, immediately or even at all, but it is something that I knew went well beyond just a passionate hobby. Hobbies can come and go, or at least fall stagnant for a period of time, but I found that when I finally began to comprehend and gave effort to what I knew exuberated everything that stood for who I am, and who I want to be, it becomes a philosophy that I know I want to cherish and live for. If I can describe myself, I definitely will admit that I am a late bloomer. Being the first in my family to graduate from college, I have a strong support system built atop a great foundation that taught me pride, respect, and the drive to work. With it all, I did lack knowing someone whom would have paved the way for me to understand that the road towards reaching my goals and dreams are more solid for my footing than of the imaginary kind. It was a beautiful reveal when I found out that my words mattered. First day of college, and making the decision to step away from my timid adolescence, I stood up in front of the class to answer a prompt about an assigned literature that we had to interpret. By no means did I have the correct interpretation or anything even remotely close to a scholarly review, but what made me earned the appreciation and the respect from my professor and my colleagues, was that I was able to stand up and allow myself to be projected within the interpretation. Regardless if I had agreed or disagreed with the prompt, it was that I gave an answer that I felt sincere to give. The key was answering it sincerely, but at the same time knowing that it has to be out of respect for others, as well. By standing up to make the first impression will go a long way in how others begin to respond to you. It is even greater when you are put to the test by being with like-minded individuals. By making that first and sincere impression on others, will be the difference from standing out or remaining lost within the crowd.