I’m a 23-year-old recent graduate of UC Berkeley. A few years ago I found myself in a bit of a predicament. My mother lost her job several months before I was supposed to go off to college.

Ultimately, we decided it was best for both of us for me to go ahead and go to college. While she worked minimum wage jobs to keep me going, I did everything I could to make every dollar of tuition count.

I begged and pleaded with professors and faculty advisors to allow me to squeeze in as many credits as I could into each semester. I planned out my entire time in college during my freshman year to make sure I would have time to take all the required classes. I stayed back for summers, as those classes were easier, so I could handle more at a time.

There were times when I was disappointed, times when professors refused to help me or sign off on my oversized course load. One thing I really learned was that where there is a will, there is always a way.

In two years time, my persistence paid off. Since graduating, I’ve helped my mother start her own business, where she currently works, in Pacific Palisades, Calif. I’ve also been working at various entertainment companies in the L.A. area, and most excitingly, I’ve written a book about my experiences at UC Berkeley, entitled How I Graduated From Berkeley in Two Years.

How I Graduated From Berkeley in Two Years is currently available. For more information, visit berkeleyintwoyears.blogspot.com.