Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Answer to Mo


     I apologize for not answering your question on Tuesday before I got off the bus. I've thought about your question for the last two days. I was expecting to see you on the bus again today to give you an answer. For whatever reason you weren't there. But I still have an answer for you (even though you don't know about my blog because I don't give personal information to random people on the bus).

     The short answer is, I just do. I doubt you wanted such a brief answer when you asked "How do you keep doing it when school gets hard?" I don't think of any alternative. Quitting isn't an option. As soon as the thought of quitting crosses my mind, I throw it out like the month old Indian food in the depths of my refrigerator. I can either do my best or do my best. Those are the only two options I give myself.

     I used to get trapped comparing myself to other students. They'd go above and beyond, turning assignments in early, making study guides, and coming to school extremely early only to leave a few hours before they'd have to return the next day. I got so discouraged because I would never be a good student like they are. Then I realized that I'm not them. I don't have to do what they do to be a good student. I just have to do my personal best. I make goals for myself. If I don't meet those goals then I've let myself down. Instead of dwelling on it I remind myself that the next day I can do better than the day before and that's all that matters; improving myself every day with only my previous self to compare against.

     Think about all you've sacrificed to go to school. You came all the way from Tonga. Your parents got your started on the path to American citizenship. That's amazing! You seemed impressed that I already have a bachelors degree at 24 and that I'll have a second one in a little less than two years. But I'm impressed that you are in a whole new country, going to school, and learning the confusing bus system. Even though you're in your first semester, you've sacrificed enough that it's worth it for you to keep trying your best and to finish. Eventually you'll have enough classes finished that you're more than half way to graduating.

     There are people to help you. Parents, friends, classmates, teachers, advisers, and many other people invested in your education. But when it comes down to it, your name will be on the diploma and you will have to do the work to earn it. You have to want it.

     By going to school you will gain so much. You will gain knowledge about things you've never heard of before. You'll probably gain knowledge of things you never want to hear of again. Hopefully, you'll also gain the ability to keep learning, to think about issues from multiple perspectives, and to find solutions to tough problems.

Best of luck to you my single-serving friend and may the force be with you.




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