NEBRASKA CITY – Poet and writer Anne Bradstreet once said, "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
Well one Nebraska City High School alumna has had her taste of adversity and is now feasting on the fruits of her labor.
Lisa Shallenberger, 20, was named to the Dean's list at Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln for the spring semester.
It's a lot of hard work for a student to be named to the Dean's list because a student must have at least a 3.5 grade point average. Shallenberger took the news with a grain of salt.
Even though this was her first time earning her spot on the Dean's list, the honor was bittersweet for the soon-to-be junior because she's always been on the President's list. Students have to earn a 4.0 grade point average to make it onto the President's list.  
"So this is the first time I didn't get straight As," she said with a smile. "I'm a perfectionist."
The nursing major said the reason that she didn't make the President's list was because she earned a B+ in her nursing care I class. Shallenberger said that she's always had straight As in school, and has had to study hard to get her stellar grades.
Shallenberger graduated from Nebraska City in May 2012. She struggled in high school. She developed low self-esteem as a result of being bullied. She even began to cause harm to herself.
"I went through a rough patch in high school," she said.
But Shallenberger fought through the rough times and stayed focused on her studies. In June 2013, she got a tattoo of a heartbeat etched onto her left wrist as a reminder to keep moving forward.
"It was a reward for getting through the first year (of college). I want more, but I'm limited to getting more tattoos because of my profession," she giggled. (The tattoo) reminds me that no matter how hard it gets, I'm still here."
Shallenberger added that the reason she chose to go into the nursing program was to make a difference in other people's lives.
"I want to be that positive person in someone's life," she said.
Shallenberger is the daughter of Steve and Connie Shallenberger of Nebraska City, and she has a 27-year-old sister, Julie Conner of Bellevue. She will graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She's undecided whether or not she'll continue her education, but she's considering becoming a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatric nursing. The strong-willed nursing student is eager to help other people and has some words of advice on how to keep moving forward in the face of adversity.  
"For anyone that's going through a rough time, it gets better. For anyone going through college … keep going, keep studying, work hard," she said. "As cliche as it sounds, don't give up and don't be afraid to go after what you want."