Turning a Bad Thing into a Good Thing Everything couldn’t have been better. While dreaming of transferring to a top university, UC Berkeley, I was working hard. Taking three classes during last summer, I got straight As. Representing as an international student, I started working at the International Center at Riverside City College. Focusing on community services, I worked as an officer of the International Club and did volunteer work with Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honors Society. On September 11th, 2014, my sister texted me, “I need to talk to you.” I called her and said, “What’s up?” She said, “Well… it is hard to say this. Dad’s company collapsed, so… he lost his job.” It came from out of the blue. I immediately understood what his losing his job meant for me; I would not able to transfer to my dream school or even to a four-year university in United States, because I was an international student who lost all financial assistance. The financial issue struck me down. I was too depressed to focus on studying. “I came to United States to transfer to a top university in the world. But I can’t keep studying here because my dad lost his job. An international student is allowed to work only on campus up to 20 hours per week and have to pay out-state tuition. So…I have to go back to Japan soon and work. There is no other choice.” I said to my friends and my math professor Jason Wong. Professor Jason said, “ You are so smart. You look like you know everything. If you don’t go to a university, it is wasteful. You should go to a university.” Although I felt blue, I just kept doing all that I could do right now: studying, working, and joining clubs. Taking 5 classes, I studied hard to get straight As. My classes started at 8am every morning and ended at 7pm or 9pm. Between classes, I worked in the International Center. Although the center was always busy, I liked this job because I could help a lot of international students who came into the office. After I helped students, they would say, “Thank you,” with a smile. That was my favorite part. As for weekends, I participated in community service through AGS. We went to Operation Safe House and Rehab. When I saw the smile of the teenagers in Safe House and the elderly people in Rehabs, I felt very thrilled. Over all, working so hard, I did not give up. Finally, I started looking for a new way to support my life. One day, I saw news that Starbucks pays the tuition of their employees. The news said that they could get a bachelor's degree for free from Arizona State University (ASU) by taking online classes. After I read this news, I became interested in the online program. I googled ASU and found that the ASU online program is completely done online and estimated cost to graduate is the way more cheaper than actually attending a university. At this moment, I came up with good idea. I could probably manage to pay the tuition on my own by working in Japan and also graduate from a university in the United States. After graduating, I can go back to United States, hopefully to a top university, as a graduate student. One more reason I picked this way is to acquire practical skills for my future career. I wanted to work as a programmer. Both taking classes through the online program and working to get programming experience can be better than just going to a top university. I believe that seemingly bad things can be good things.