Working on our rough edges can be quite tricky at times. We are all constantly soldiering on through life to “seek a Great Perhaps”, like Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska. The best of us graduate with honors, but lack honor.
Through the challenges we face in various aspects of our young lives, a necessary step is to look past the trials and believe in a future of silver linings, and incline ourselves to see what lies beyond the most sought after 4.0.
I sincerely do not believe that it is possible for life to be carried out precisely the way we plan or imagine it, because unexpected circumstances are bound to arise when we least expect them.
Before entering college, I was hardly involved in the commuting scene. It was clear to even fellow passengers that I lacked the training to get around Manila. In fact, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing during the first few times I had to commute. Yet somehow, in a span of three years, I became an entirely different person.
Such is the aftermath of the tiresome routine of waking up at the crack of dawn, anticipating the horrendous traffic, in order to be on time for a 7:30 am class; extending time in the university for org work and academic related meetings with groups; arriving home at practically midnight, only to add more papers to the pile on the desk, while crossing off lists, only to add new items; and repeat.
A narrative of the daily grind is already quite tiresome to read or even think about, as it is often generated in the hopes of receiving sky high grades, getting one’s name etched on the Dean’s List, and gleaming smiles for the people who raised us. Naturally, we become attached to these positive outcomes, as we are showered with praise and approval.
However, as we draw closer towards the endpoint of our goals, we must realize one very important detail, our grades do not define us. Maintaining high grades will get us places, but there are just some things that are not taught within the confines of our classrooms, such as the occurrences mentioned, all of which have indeed shaped me to become who I am today despite the difficulties I have had in between.
Similar firsthand experiences are shared by some of my peers, who were also compelled to have a taste of the ‘real world.’ Some learned while taking OJT, some learned prior, and some later on. The common denominator? Struggling to become a recipient of an immaculate GPA or becoming part of the Dean’s List.
Some have wounded up mindlessly typing on uninspired papers, but it’s an act of hindrance. Your output is the reflection of your attitude. You will face several challenges along the way. Sometimes you’ll feel drained, other times hopeless, but you just have to keep in mind that nothing worth having ever comes easy.
There is no way to avoid fear and rejection forever, for they are part of the process in order for you to grow. It is normal to have the objective and desire to wind up with the best achievements. Set goals for yourself and focus on who you really want to be, in order to become who you are truly meant to be. Create a vision board to motivate yourself if you have to.
We shouldn’t lose ourselves while aiming for the 4.0. We need to ask ourselves how we should define failure. Some would answer that it is not an option. We must, however, redefine this way of thinking. We need to acquire the mentality that it is one of the keys to success.
Intelligence is an admirable trait, but what sets us apart from others? We all have different sets of skills, but what can we really bring to the table? Likewise, we have different styles and reactions towards a multitude of events. It could be our drive to serve our fellow Lasallians through leadership, which could lead us to influence on a global scale. It could also be our ability to create steadfast connections and relationships. All these abilities, yet we forget to maximize them, in spite of all the opportunities that surround us.
As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Look at past mistakes and learn from them, but don’t wait until it’s too late. Passion has no deadline, but make sure it counts in this lifetime.