Yu Tsai
April 14, 2015 02:50 PM

“If I can’t have an ordinary life, I might as well have an extraordinary one.”

In the May issue of Seventeen, which hits newsstands April 21, Sarah Hyland opens up about health, happiness and her future.

The Modern Family star, who has previously shared details of her lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia and underwent a kidney transplant in April 2012, talks to Seventeen about not letting her illness hold her back.

“I was born with so many health issues that doctors told my mother I would never have a normal life. And she said, ‘You’re right, she won’t – but it won’t be because of her health,’ ” Hyland, 24, says. “When my mother told me that story, it resonated with me.”

The actress (and member of Taylor Swift‘s enviable posse) resolved to persevere and lead an “extraordinary life,” saying, “If you set your mind to something, you’ll achieve it.”

Sarah Hyland on the cover of Seventeen
Yu Tsai

Lately, it seems like Hyland has been setting her mind toward happiness first and foremost.

After splitting from her allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend in August, she found support from her friends and castmates. Since early 2015, Hyland has been happily dating her “best friend” and Vampire Academy costar Dom Sherwood, though she has another love in her work on the Emmy-winning sitcom.

“Happiness, I’ve learned, comes from within. I am happiest when I am doing something I love,” Hyland says. “And I love Modern Family – it’s the best job I’ve had in my 20 years as an actress.”

She adds, “It didn’t come easily or fast or free: It took me 14 years to land a gig like this.”

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