Recently I was asked to write an encouragement article for a local paper challenging students to excel in their studies. The thought about what to write caused me to reflect:
It was my senior year and the visit to the counselor’s office was scheduled to discuss my career options once I graduated. “In reviewing your transcripts, I believe that an on-the-job training program or the Armed Forces would be the best choice for you”, said my counselor. “Anchors Away”, “Yes Sir”, and “No Sir”, became terms used daily during the next four years while serving in the world’s greatest military.
During my tour of duty, I had carefully observed the military class system: The officers and the enlisted. The enlisted were the rank and file hands-on personnel. The officers were managers and executive operation’s personnel. I would have much preferred the officer’s ranks!
In retrospect, I have wondered why only two options were suggested during that counseling session in high school. Why wasn’t college presented as a choice? I realize now that I was an unmotivated student. I had not shown initiative toward my studies and was likely viewed as lacking the academic ability necessary to be successful in higher education. My focus, at the time, was only to “get by”.
One day, after saluting my superior officer, who was a year older than I, an “ah-ha!” moment overwhelmed me. Had I completed college and entered the military as an officer, this same guy may have been saluting me! Academic success and education was the key to my future. It was the missing piece. I became motivated, energized, and committed to aiming higher.
What Motivates You Set Higher Goals?
This personal recollection is shared as a challenge to any student who may be struggling with direction and in need of support and encouragement. The best option before you right now is to commit to your academic success. Don’t just “get by”, rather, grab hold of your future and “Aim Higher”!