You have probably heard the phrase "hard work pays off" many times before. You may have seen in action through another person's journey, or maybe even your own. It seems no matter the topic; the issue, or challenge at hand, hard work will triumph. It can be hard to stay motivated, however, if you do not know what the end has in store, or even what the end goal truly is. Often times, many people find themselves facing this issue while tackling long-term goals. What is the point of working for something you cannot clearly see? Here is my story of my struggles, triumphs, and the overall journey to educational success.
From a very young age, my parents have always held a high standard for me. One thing that separated them from the average parents, however, was their method to see me succeed. From the beginning, my dad questioned what was truly required for what my brother and I needed to be taught. He thought that though the school system was teaching enough, the two of us needed to be challenged even more. And so, at the age of four years old, began the horrid weekends of doom. The weekends of the workbooks.
It all started on one normal weekend. Nothing exciting, nothing even mildly unusual. My called father for us, so my brother and I filed into the living room. We flopped down on the couch, not knowing what was about to happen. My father told us to be quiet, and that we were about to receive a present. He pulled two math books out from behind his back. My brother and I looked at each other. What was about to happen? “You will work on these until I tell you to stop,” my dad said, as if reading our look.
And so it began. Weekend after weekend we worked on workbooks in topics such as English, science, and especially math. We worked on workbooks meant for schools, and packets printed out from the internet. We worked from eight to twelve every weekend, propped up on my dad’s bed so he could keep an eye on us.
This lasted for about eight years, and many times, I felt like giving up. I felt like it wasn’t worth it, that nothing good would ever come out of wasting my weekends. There were times where I even cried because I felt like I wasn’t capable of doing the work. I was working for something I couldn’t touch, something I couldn’t feel, something I couldn’t even dream.
And then, in seventh grade, everything changed. My father wanted to test me against the rest of the country. He told me that though I was one of the smartest in my grade, I was swimming in a small pond that didn’t compare to ocean of the world that was waiting for me. And so, at age 12, I took the ACT.
When the scores came back, I realized I was in the 95###sup/sup### percentile in English not only for my age, but for high school in general. I was also accepted into a college level summer camp (Center for Talented Youth or CTY) only accepted the top 0.1% of American students.
Though the journey afterword would be perhaps even harder than the path behind, something about be accepted; being acknowledged for my work really sparked a change in me. In through it all, I learned something, something valuable that I wished someone had told me. You don’t have to know the path ahead of you. You don’t have to know the destination at the end. You only need to just keep walking, and eventually, you will find your way.