Fulltime Everything: Yunli Rodriguez

Yunli Rodriguez has been my best friend for seven years now; but I am not interviewing her because she’s my best friend. I am interviewing her in hopes of showing the world the wonderful person and hard worker she is. I want to show others a great example of someone who has overcome many struggles and who now has matured into an amazing young woman. Currently, Yunli holds a steady job and is pursuing a nursing career through college. I want to give recognition to everyone who - despite what others think of their choices - continue to follow their dreams and never let anything stop them.

Vanessa: Let me start off with some basic questions. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Some things like what's your major, what college do you attend?

Yunli: First of all I am 18 years old. I am currently a freshman at Monroe Community College. I am majoring in Nursing. I was also accepted into MCC’s 2+2 program therefore I will also be transferring into University of Rochester in two years!

Vanessa: You’re a fulltime student, correct?

Yunli: Yes, I’m a full time student, full time mom, full time employee, full time everything!

Vanessa: How would you say this new college experience has been for you?

Yunli: So far my college experience has been really good, honestly. I find my classes are pretty easy, my english teacher is a bit.. hard to work with. (laughs) But I’m in love with my biology classes!

Vanessa: You mentioned earlier you were a full time mom, correct?

Yunli: Yes. I am a proud teen mother of a beautiful baby girl named Karielys Alvarado. She is currently a year and four months old.

Vanessa: And you also said you’re a fulltime employee, where do you work?

Yunli: I work at Unity Hospital as a Patient Care Technician.

Vanessa: I must ask, how do you manage balancing working, your daughter and college at the same time?

Yunli: Thanks to the tremendous support I receive from my mother, my grandmother, the father of my child/my fiance and my stepdad, I am able to cope with school, work, and being a parent.

Vanessa: But I’m sure even with your families support it must be difficult for you to do all these things, so how do you, yourself, cope with stress?

Yunli: Honestly . . . I don't think about it. I just do it, some days I have to go to school early, come home, spend time with my baby, then go straight to work. It’s my life, it’s something I just have to do! I won't sit down and stress about anything, I just do it. I find it's my responsibility to give my daughter and I a better future, that’s what I’m working so hard for.

Vanessa: Do you think if you had the option to do your life over again would you?

Yunli: Never! I’m doing everything I always wanted to do, the only difference from my original plans is I am engaged and have a child. But I’m happy to have them because by the time I finish my studies and become a professional I’ll have everything I always wanted; everything everyone else will be still looking for.

Vanessa: How do you see yourself in the future?

Yunli: I see myself as a nurse practitioner, my own house, owning a Lexus or two. (laughs) Hopefully on my third child. I love kids! I also don’t want to let anything get in the way of my career because I feel with that, I’ll be able to give my children everything I never had and live the best life I can.

Vanessa: Any advice you’d like to give to aspiring college students?

Yunli: Don’t give into the dark side! Always finish because if you don’t you’ll be paying off college loans for no reason! (laughs)

Vanessa: Now seriously, what other advice do you have? (laughs)

Yunli: Okay, let’s see! Stay positive, even if things go south… go north! By that I mean even if things don’t go your way, make the best out of the situation and go your own direction, continue striving for your goals even if your initial plan didn't work out. Nothing should ever stop you from fulfilling your dreams.

Vanessa: Any last comments?

Yunli: Yes.. can you let everyone know I’m your bestfriend? I have to assert my dominance! (laughs)

Vanessa: Will do!