Algebra Student Exhorts his Peers to Make the Most of their Opportunities

The following post was written by one of my star algebra students at Berkshire Community College, in a desire to help students in similar situations.

“Ready or Not” by Aaron Biros

The harshest thing each of us faces on a daily basis is a wakeup call. This could mean the wretched sound of that insufferable alarm clock, a pathetic paycheck for an epic work week, or struggling through a class you hate. Regardless of which of these haunts your thoughts, they are part of the many challenges of success. From my experiences thus far, the best opportunity any of us have to advance ourselves socially, intellectually, and, of course, financially is through education and perseverance. Realizing this for myself was a harsh wakeup call for sure.

I was never a good student throughout grade school, mostly because I was a rebellious teenager. I hated school because I thought that I already knew everything I would need in life. In the long run I suffered because of this attitude. Instead of going on to college after barely making it out of high school, I went directly into the workforce. I worked at a slew of seasonal jobs, doing whatever I could to get by. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working hard. In fact, hard work is the single greatest tool in a person’s toolbox, next to curiosity. After fourteen years of laboring for a dozen or so different employers, I recognized there was little chance I would ever make enough money to live the life I wanted to live—that is, unless I made some drastic changes to my attitude and the direction I was heading.

I’m sharing my experience so that it can, perhaps, cause someone to apply this to their own situation and avoid going through the same troubles I had. Seeing someone struggle, feel defeated, or give up saddens me deeply because I know how easy it can be to give in to our doubts. Everyone possesses the ability and deserves the chance to rise beyond their wildest dreams and push themselves to places they never thought they could go. This is our chance. The education that lies before us is our chance to shape the future and make the world slightly better, if only for the short while we are here. After all, the future is coming whether we are ready for it or not. How’s that for a wakeup call?