This I Believe

Maria - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on December 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Maria Jolly

November 18, 2007

Hard Work While Enjoying Life

Ever since I was little, my parents have told me stories about how they were raised. Their upbringing was very different from mine being that they had to overcome many challenges in order for me to have a better life then they had. Because of this, I feel compelled to make them proud by becoming successful. This is very important to me, but also, I want to make sure whatever I do in life makes me happy. I believe in working hard to make my aspirations happen, but I won’t allow that get in the way of me living my life.

Both of my parents came from the same village in India where they both had to study hard in order to come to America and give me and my brother better opportunities than they were given. When my mom finally got a job in Chicago, she had to leave me, my bother, and my father when I was only 11 month old to get settled here. Because my parents had to face so many obstacles to bring me to this “land of opportunity,” I feel it is my responsibility to take advantage of them and make myself better then they ever hoped I could be. This is why I have high aspirations for myself and plan of fulfilling them.

In addition to trying my hardest to become successful, I keep in mind that I should make the best of my life. You only live once, so make it good. Moreover, you are only young once, so enjoy it while you can. I’m really thankful that my parents agree with me on this. My dad had been an athlete in high school and college and my mom had been more of a performer, dancing and singing. My brother is also the lacrosse captain and was on a football team that had played at solider field. This is probably why they encourage me to try new things and develop myself socially as well as mentally, signing me up for everything from volleyball to violin. This has really helped me decide what I like to do and what makes me happy, which is just as important as discovering what I am good at and will make me successful. My mom has friends from college that she still talks to today and she wants me to be able to have friends that are just as good as hers.

My parent’s hardships have driven me to have high expectations for myself which I plan to reach, or exceed while making the best out of the process. It is extremely important for me to achieve my goals in life, but I will never forget that I need to just sit back and smell the roses every once in a while. As the UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden said:

“Learn as if you were to live forever; Live as if you were to die tomorrow”