To Succeed

My roommate and I were talking about our careers in the future. We have great dreams, and the world’s just ahead of us. Again, there’s this push to go on. We’re facing finals week these coming days, and this is the last stop before the final semester of our college lives.

We are like boats traveling a great ocean; we face storms that toss and turn us, winds that tear our sails, and buck us up every now and then. The storms have passed, for now, and we see the sun shining through. There is land in view, but still a little far away. This is how we now feel- tired and burnt out. We go on, despite our ragged sails and bruised keels, we go forward still.

What keeps us going? First, there’s our ambition. My roommate and I want to finish college in order to have a good life. Secondly, there’s our families. We think about the sacrifices our parents made for us. Our parents, too, are tired from providing for our needs to continue our education. Though we complain of our hardships, they remain strong foundations for us to hold on to. Lastly, there’s also this external fear of being bums for our whole lives. We need a break every once in a while, but a long break just dulls the soul.

It was very interesting when we talked about how our fathers became the men they were. Both of our fathers had very difficult times through life. My father had to read through thick books just to finish Law school. He also recounted how there were terror teachers, and how he overcame them. My father would always say: “Challenge them.” Then there’s the Bar exams. When father was taking them, he was in a rocky time with his relationship with my mother. He would often joke how he was distracted during the Bar exams because he thought about my mother during the time.

My roommate’s father didn’t have it good as well. He failed in a chemistry subject and had to take it again. Then there’s the trouble with being employed. As he didn’t come from a top engineering school, he was forced to take a government job just to make ends meet. My roommate would tell me about the thick feasibility studies his father would make for his projects, which far exceeds the content of our medical papers.

From the stories of our fathers, we can see how there’s really no easy way, no shortcuts, no detours in life. If you want to succeed, you have to trudge through its challenges, even if it means inching every distance and grabbing every moment towards the goal.

Another lesson gained from our father’s stories is that we really have no right to complain of our hardships. If we consider the many people who wish to study, yet do not have the means to, our grumbling at the rote work pales in comparison to their plight. Our fathers also do more work than we do; we should be grateful for what they do for us.

It is a good fortune to be able to have the opportunity to succeed. An opportunity, I point out, that can become a reality or a regret, through personal choice. I choose to succeed in life.

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  1. Go go go! It’s your last hurrah! I shall be here to support. 🙂


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