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One Step

Written By Melissa Sottosanti 11 Sep 2018
One Step


One foot in front of the other. 

The way that I look at my life is one step at a time. I know that might sound ridiculous to some, however to me this is very true and it has made me who I am today. Let me explain…

During my freshman year of high school I decided that I wanted to get out of school as fast as possible, so I took several extra classes that I could so that I could graduate early. My plans quickly changed by the end of my sophomore year when I found out that I was pregnant and going to be expecting a little boy 9 months later.

 I grew up in a small town and honestly I never thought of myself as having a career. Not once did I think about College or much of anything that was beyond my town’s boundaries. At the time I wasn’t concerned about getting good grades or even taking the SAT’s.

The two things I was sure of:

  1. I had a beautiful baby to raise
  2. I wasn’t going to be a “stereotypical” teen mom.

In my mind I had plans and I was determined to make something of myself. Fortunately, I was able to graduate high school early and I got a job as a pharmacy tech. At the time I had ZERO knowledge about medications and absolutely no idea what I had gotten myself into.

I worked for this terrible pharmacist that I referred to on a daily as “Dick Head”. He broke me down every day and made me feel incredibly stupid. I could have easily said “screw this” and found another job, however, the reason that I didn’t is that this job provided a good income and insurance for my little family and that was more important to me.

I have always been a very determined person and I decided that I was going to go to school to become a pharmacist. I signed up for an online community college where I started taking one class at a time. In the back of my mind, I felt like I was going to be in school forever. My goal was to just keep going and eventually the classes would add up. While most of my friends in getting ready to graduate college and start careers and was still in the process of taking my prerequisite classes and raising a family.

8 years later I was almost finished with my required classes, and I only had math left. I am terrible at math so this was a huge battle. In the pharmacy, I met someone who suggested going into the dental hygiene field. This idea intrigued me so I went to my hygienist and asked if I could shadow him. After three days, I knew that this was the career for me!

I quickly applied to hygiene school and I was shocked when two weeks later I received a phone call that I was going to be starting. My whole world was about to change.

Hygiene school was the hardest and best time of my life. I have wonderful memories that I will cherish along with times that I thought that I couldn’t possibly make it. I knew that I just had to keep taking steps and not give up. I repeated to myself several times “You got this, you know this”!

At my pinning ceremony when the instructor called me to the stage, I was so proud of myself because I knew that I DID it! I had a career and I achieved something that at so many times I thought was so out of reach.

I continue to take baby steps even today and I encourage you all to do the same. I am currently taking one class at a time at an online University to finish my Bachelors’ degree in Dental Hygiene. This may also take me another 8 years to achieve and that’s just okay!

I want each of you to remember that even though a goal may seem unachievable, don’t ever give up. You can achieve it!

Just take it one step at a time.










Teresa - November 17 2018

Melissa, I resonate deeply with your journey. It’s pretty similar to my own! I just want to say it’s amazing what you’ve done and thank you for inspiring me!

Whitney - January 15 2018

Melissa! You’re story is beautiful and also inspiring to people (including myself) who are trying to raise a family and would like to move forward. Thank you for showing that and helping me feel more confident that i will finish even though it has taken me a life time to finish my degree haha! You are an amazing soul ?

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