Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Highs and Lows

I knew it wouldn’t be handed to me.  Pushing and shoving your way to a better future is strenuous and damn near impossible, and sometimes it is hard to find the strength to keep your strained fingers from sliding off the final rung.  Senior year, the culmination of a lifetime of work and dreams, has so far been a strange roller coaster of peaks so high that I nearly hit my head on the clouds to lows to deep that  my stomach melts onto the seat.  Despite this stress, pressure and responsibility that I have added to my plate I have never felt more alive.  A kid from some small farm town in the middle of nowhere, raised by a single mother has traveled the world, become the president of an organization, serves on student government and is one year away from graduation. 
What should be a joyous year in which I consummate my four years of hard work with one strut across the stage is one of panic; what exactly should I do with the rest of my life?  Sometimes I curse my work ethic and ambitions.  Life seems so much easier to be blown by the wind and care not for where I end up, but unfortunately for me I live with purpose.  I live each day motivated by the fact that I am merely scratching the surface of my potential, and due to this ambition I am also cursed with being a perfectionist.  Instead of laying back and enjoying my achievements I tirelessly trudge forward, for fear that the doors which are opean all around me may suddenly slam shut. 
Three summers ago I learned the dark reality of this cruel world.  I worked in a dirty, humid tomato packing plant in my home town and suffered a work injury to my arm which nearly ripped it off.  As my hand lay caught in the conveyer belt, skin ripping apart slowly,  I felt the first pang of terror I had ever felt in my life.  I have been scared before, but this was the unique fear that comes with knowing that this is a life I could easily expect should I piss away my academic opportunities.  It is a cruel, cold world out there, and it has no time for dreamers or the timid.  Life favors those who make their dreams a reality; the movers and shakers.  Although the stress and pressure of changing three generations of poverty in my family bears down on my chest like a lead anchor, I must set the example.  Life is not for the timid

Friday, July 5, 2013

House hunting

House Hunters is one of my favorite shows, but my real-world house hunt has been nowhere near as entertaining.  My lease is up this month and I am looking for a home in a safe area to spend my final year.  Of all of the things to worry about, having a roof over my head takes precedence over all of them.  I have visited countless apartments, a few homes and am calling a bunch more to set up home visits.  Zillow has become my nirvana.  The race to avoid homelessness is on!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What next?

Everyone expects you to be successful.  I KNOW I will be successful, but what happens when other people's expectations do not match your own?  I love my mother but I am not sure if both of our goals are compatible or if I even know what I would define as success.

Is it money?  Many people believe that money does not buy happiness, but instead leads to a more comfortable and predictable life.  This sounds splendid, but I do not think I want a predictable life.  A lot of money sounds great, but if it is in a boring office setting for 40 hours a week in which you never get to enjoy the spoils of your hard work is it a life worth striving for?  I believe not.  I've been rich (for a college student) and poor several times, and I've found out that I've actually been happier with less money.  I  was making over $400 dollars a week at a tomato packaging plant.  To me this was an ungodly amount of money as it was my first job ever.  However the conditions were horrible and I nearly lost my hand.  I spent the rest of that summer stacking boxes and promised I would never return.  I don't even make $400 a month at my current job, but it has allowed me to devote more of my time and energy to things I do care about such as internships, clubs and spending time with family.

So what do I want to do?  I watched a wonderful video that asked how I would live if money weren't a concern.  It made take a very introspective look at myself and what I really get a buzz from.  After letting this question simmer for a while I've condensed my passion into three things: writing, travel and spontaneity.   Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  From kindergarten to college I have always been gravitate by the art of speaking on paper, and would love to do so for the rest of my life.  Travel is my newest love and it is a flame that is impossible to put out.  My family never had the opportunity travel as we came from a field labor background, but college opened the door to the rest of the world.  I traveled to Europe upon graduation and was blown away from the immensity of the world and all of it's beauty.  I have also traveled to various conferences around the country and am addicted to meeting new people and places.  It is this insatiable thirst of new experiences that drives me to live a life of unpredictability.  Variety is the spice of life, and I feel comfort in chaos.  I function better when handling a million things at once and the more I add to my plate the more efficient and satisfied I feel.

It will be interesting to read this ten years down the road and find out whether I choose to follow the safer, smarter route of becoming a highly paid public relations practitioner or do something daring such as become a world-traveling writer for National Geographic.  Either way, I want to live life to the fullest.

Monday, April 29, 2013

End of the semester

Here it is.  The homestretch.  After a long, difficult and tiring semester the end is near, and as we get closer to summer relaxation it sometimes gets harder and harder to stay productive.  It is the same pain as pushing through the fourth quarter of football games despite the fact that your body is breaking down and close to exhaustion.  The only advice I can give to help finish strong is to remember the importance of the final stretch of school.  Like a sports game you can play great all three quarters but if you give up in the fourth then you lose the game.  Push hard and the end result is the reward.  There is no point in wasting a whole semester because you were to lazy to study or didn't do that last assignment.  Stay busy.  Stay humble.   

Monday, April 22, 2013


I have always been worried about my leadership.  I always thought of myself as a doer instead of a leader, but I was recently elected president of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America).  It is hard to tell what others think of you but I am grateful that students from my major had the confidence in me to name me their president.  Although I am a bit worried and nervous for next year I am excited because I have the ability and passion to do well.  I hope that all that I have learned during my past three years pays off.   

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

When did this happen???

Adulthood hits you hard.  I never realized how uncool and old I was until I yelled at my freshman neighbor for playing his music too loud.  It took me a while to realize what happened but when it did it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It made me wonder in what other ways I have grown older.  I have a job, pay all of my bills, pay for my education, actually look forward to sleeping in, am addicted to coffee and no longer find my favorite childhood comedy, Kung Pow, funny anymore.  I then remembered how clueless I was as a freshman in college.  I remember how scared and vulnerable I felt my first day at Fresno State when I saw my parents drive away after dropping me off.  I had no idea what I was doing at such a big school and had no idea what to expect.  I surely didn't expect to mature as I have.  I am fortunate to have been successful and often have freshman ask me questions.  Although it is strange being one of the older students on campus and one year away from graduation I am grateful for my experience and have learn to come to grips with the fact that I am older.  With age comes wisdom (usually), and in my case I love being able to mentor those who were nervous freshman like I was.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break!

Not going to lie, all that has been on my mind is spring break.  College students across the country have marked the date down on their calendars for this wonderful week of time off in the middle of a grueling semester.  It is a time to avoid the tests, midterms and hell for a week to gather oneself and return rested and ready to finish the semester.  Many often call college students lazy or party animals for taking a week off but they do not realize the struggles that college students must endure.  Gone are the days of working through college and graduating in four years.  Now students must take out expensive loans, often must take a fifth year do to cuts in classes and must work much harder than ever before due to the few amount of jobs available.  Breaks are healthy and necessary regardless of profession so to all my fellow college students out there enjoy this break, visit family and have FUN!! Because once you come back its business as usual.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hitting the Spring wall

People tend to do better in college in the Fall semester than in the Spring and if you can't see the reason then look outside your window.  The weather is beautiful, the trees are covered in flowers and it is hard to think of a reason as to why someone would be so cruel and have school when days are so beautiful.  This is when time management comes in.  One must stay focused on the tasks at hand and finish them quickly and diligently in order to enjoy the beautiful days.  I will not lie, it has been hard to focus on tests when I just want to relax on a tropical beach with a pina colada.  This is when the greats separate themselves from the rest.  The work put in during this time makes all the difference, so manage your time wisely in order to enjoy the beautiful weather!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Missing pieces to the puzzle

Not everything in life always goes your way.  Perfection is never achieved, so you must overcome these obstacles thrown in your way and make due with what you have.  These hurdles may come in the form of a physical handicap, a broken home or anything in between.  If one wishes to succeed in life then one must triumph over these obstacles in order to be successful.  Eminem grew up in a home full of drug addicts and an abusive mother, but he used this experience in order to better himself  and change his life.  The late Steve Jobs was homeless at one point and spent his nights in college sleeping on the floor of his friends dormitory and in addition he was adopted, but he did not let his obstacles define him.  Many people often have a victim mentality and refuse to escape their comfort zone.  We can't let a couple missing pieces from the  puzzle blind us from the bigger picture.  In my circumstance I grew up without a father.  It pained me to not have that father figure guide me throughout life, but instead I learned to cope with problems on my own.  I could have chosen to wallow in my own pity but instead I chose to rise above it.  My story, however, has a happy  ending.  Recently my father has started becoming more involved and we have contacted each other three times in person this year alone.  Better late than never.  It seems that the missing piece in my life has been found and my puzzle is complete.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


This post is a little different from my typical motivational posts, as I really don't feel the motivation today.  My grandfather, who I am very close to, is in the hospital and will most likely not make it.  I have never faced a death in my immediate family, and I do not have the slightest clue how to react.  I am sad that I will never see him again, yet in a way I am glad that he will no longer suffer.  He is a very religious man and I know that he is ready to meet his Creator.  It just pains me to see a man who I thought of as indestructible is a mortal like everyone else.  Death is a very strange thing.  It does not discriminate; black or white, rich or poor.  No one has been able to elude it yet.  I think back to Steve Job's speech at Stanford.  He said that death is natures greatest creation.  It keeps life fresh; out with the old and in with the new.  It keeps ideas from becoming stale and pushes humanity forward with an endless stream of enthusiastic youth who are willing to push the envelope forward when we become to old and frail to do so ourselves.  If heaven is so great, then why is no one willing to die to get there?  I personally think it is because we become so attached to the Earthly world.  To our friends and families.  To what we want to accomplish and what we have yet to do.  I personally fear death not because of what I fear will happen after, but because of what I have yet to achieve.  As I reach my grandfathers stage in life I feel that my biggest regret won't be what I did, but what I didn't.  I can only wonder if he feels the same.  He managed to raise a huge family of over 8 children.  He has over 40 grandchildren.  He did this while immigrating from Mexico to California, not knowing any familiar faces to help nor the language with which to communicate with the locals.  On top of that he was ridiculed and ostricised by society, often called a wetback because he couldn't speak English.  Despite these overwhelming odds he persevered over the bullshit thrown out him.  He was the rock to his family, yet death does not value achievements.  He lived one hell of a life, was an incredible father, and truly lived the American dream.  It will be heartbreaking tomorrow knowing that I will hold his hand for probably the last time, but his memories and spirits will forever remain a part of me.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The needy helping the needy

It is easy to be so consumed with one's self that they lose perspective on the real world.  Many people make mountains out of molehills, meaning that we may think that some problems are bigger than they are.  I used to think that my life was stressful.  That college was overwhelming me, work was eating me alive and that no one could understand the pressure I was under.  Upon interning as a reporter for the Community Food Bank and interviewing people at food distributions I quickly realized how blessed I was and how foolish I had been.  I complained about college but met so many mothers and fathers whose lifelong wish is to put their children into college.  I complained about work until I met those who would sleep underneath buildings because they had no income.  I met people who would sell their bodies to feed their children, who had to tell use candles instead of electricity and who had overcome drug problems and here I am, thinking that my life is difficult.  I have my health, my family, friends who love me, food on my plate and am attending the college I dreamed of.  I almost feel selfish to think that I actually had problems.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The miracle drink

I often get asked how I have so much energy and focus.  The answer I like to give people is because I have a underlying reason.  I found my "why."  It is impossible to wake up motivated everyday to take on the obstacles of life unless you have a powerful reason to do so.  Without that critical element it is impossible to go through all the difficulties that life throws at you on the path to reach your dreams.  
     The real answer, however, has to do with a roasted bean that powers me through the mornings.  The miracle drink is called coffee.  If you have ever drank coffee it is almost impossible not to be productive.  They give me a jump start in the early mornings so instead of starting the day groggy and needing time to warm up I blast through the morning like a bat out of hell.  Moral of my story:  drink more coffee!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the power of competition

Today a strange event happened.  An eye opening event that to most people may have not meant anything, but to me I felt as if the sky had just been torn open.  I am an intern this semester with the Community Food Bank of Fresno.  My partner and I are reporters (I say this because we get paid to do our job) who must gather stories for the bank's 20th anniversary presentation.  What we do is we go to various distribution sites and each interview clients, find out their story and take photos of them that will show donors that there is a need for more donations.  We were hanging out in the office with our coordinator and discussing what stories worked best for our goal when I asked a simple question.  "Hey partner, do you want to meet some time this week to find out which people correspond to their sound files?"  She said, "Oh, I already matched up my interviews and organized them."  For the first time in my life I had been outworked. I have no problem with people being smarter, more talented or blessed with better resources than I have.  I deal with those people everyday.  What really pissed me off and lit a fire under me was that I have never been outworked before.  I like to credit my success in life to the fact that I am a hard worker and although some peers may be better than me they do not have the same drive that I do.  Later that night I used that moment as a catalyst to take my internship and use it as a competition.  I have always competed with my cousins and in sports for any little thing.  I think competition brings the best out of people and it did that night.  I caught up on all my files and will make it my goal not to get outshone by my partner, who is a year younger than me.  There is something primal about competing, and at times it feels as if your very existence depends on being victorious.  Life is a competition, from competing for a job, competing among applicants for grad school or a simple sports game.  The lesson to take away from this is to always compete.  Never settle for second place and if you do realize that you are losing the battle claw your way back to the top.  My question do you like to compete and if so please share an example.

Sunday, January 27, 2013



Today was a day of returning to my last defeat.  Last semester I applied for the Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowship, which is a paid internship with PR giant Fleishman-Hillard.  If I would have received the fellowship I would have taken a paid six month leave to work at one of Fleishman's many offices around the country.  Unfortunately I did not win and to make matters worse I don't think they ever received my application.  For those of you reading you may be able to relate to my situation.  Perhaps you did not win the award you wanted, start for the varsity team or gotten the job you wanted.  All though it is extremely disappointing never give up!  If you want something bad enough take the punches and come back for more.  You have nothing to lose and now know what to expect.  I know know that I must try harder on my application and constantly check to make sure it gets there.  I am know smarter than I was back then and also more experienced in the field of public relations.  Even if I am not chosen for this fellowship I will find success somewhere and make them sorry for not choosing me.  The lesson of the story is persistence!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hello everyone!

My name is Mikey Sanchez and I college student at Fresno State University.  I am creating this blog as part of one of my classes requirements, but I want to take it further than that.  We only need to type assignments and call it a "blog post".  I decided to make a real one and hopefully use it to benefit others.  This will be a blog focused on career advice and motivation.  What makes my blog different from the countless other career advice blogs?  I am living what a type.  I am pursuing a career in public relations and eventually want to start my own business and I will write my daily accomplishments on here as well as give advice to others.  I never had a lot growing up but have been blessed with tremendous opportunities along the way and took advantage of them.  Success often favors those who are too busy searching for it, so never sit still!

Best of luck to all of you,


Mikey Sanchez