Family, Education, And School

Ofa Vaisima - Woods Cross, Utah
Entered on December 10, 2008

I believe in three main things: Education, Family, and God. Throughout my lifetime, my parents pushed my sisters and I to work hard for the future. Even in second grade, they pushed me to get AB Honor roll, which I don’t know if it was possible, but they pushed me to get it. I never realized how big of a deal school was until I was in fifth grade. That was the first year I ever got AB Honor roll. Ever since I achieved that goal my parents made me look at colleges. They even made me write out my goals and tell them what I want to be when I grow up. I thought they were crazy. I told them I wanted to be a lawyer. They were ecstatic. They made me join mock trial so that I could achieve this goal.

This annoyed me a lot. At first, I just thought school was a place you just went to learn about something or someone for seven hours and that was that. Now that I understood the meaning of education and why it was so important made me feel stupid. Around my church community the high school kids were just dropping out by their senior year and some just graduated, but moved on to landscaping jobs. My parents didn’t want me to choose that path and I myself didn’t want that either, I still don’t. I believe in education more than I ever had. It will decide my future for me and it will take me in the direction I want my life to go.

Family is my life. I believe in them with all that I have. They are my aid and comfort. Without them I would be a complete and total mess. Through all the rough times and bad times with friends and school they were there for me. They made sure that I knew that they were always there for me and that they love me. Family is part of the reason why I believe in my education so much. They push me because they don’t want me to make the same mistakes they made. They show me they love me even when I’m being stubborn with them and when I act like I don’t want them with me.

I remember when my grandpa died and I didn’t want to talk to anyone or get out of bed. He was my best friend so it really hit me hard when he died. All I wanted to do was mope around all day long. Even though my family knew I didn’t want to talk to them, they still talked to me or tried to talk to me to cheer me up. My sisters and first cousins came to cheer me up. At first, I wanted them to leave and never come back. I thought they were going to try to tell me jokes like, “How did the chicken cross the road?” but they didn’t. They ended up telling me stories about the funny things my grandpa did and how he always made people happy.

Knowing they were there for me even when I didn’t want them to be made me feel loved. They showed me that they really cared and loved me. This deepened my belief in family. Family will always be a big part of my life. I believe in my family. They are the only ones that have to deal with me and at the same time love me the way I am. They will always love you no matter how bad you act, and they make sure you know that by always being there for you.

I believe in God. I believe in the Catholic Church and it’s teachings. I may not believe in everything they have to say, but I do believe in Catholicism. I grew up Methodist. I became part of the Catholic Church at the age of eleven. At first, I hated attending mass. I didn’t quite understand what the meaning of mass was. I always counted down the minutes until mass was over and when I got really impatient I leaned over and asked my sisters, “Is it almost done?” They always nodded yes, but they were lying.

I began to understand my faith more and more as the time went on. My parents enrolled me at St. Anns when I was in fourth grade, which made me learn more about my faith. The more I learned about it the more I cherished and loved my religion. I started attending mass and actually paying attention. My parents became more involved in my parish community and asked my sisters and I to tag along with them. And we did. We enjoyed it. My parents got an idea from one of the parishioners about family prayer, where we meet up every Sunday night and share anything interesting about our week then at the end pray. My sisters and I really hated those, but we couldn’t do anything.

These meetings helped, but it was really annoying. Every time before we started prayer my parents said a quote. It was, “Without the help of God nothing is possible.” I never paid attention to this quote. I remembered it before my eighth grade graduation. I thought of it and I realized that it was true. I wouldn’t have made it so far without the help of God and believing in him.

I realized that God gave me everything I needed to make things possible. He gave me the strength to pay attention in school. He gave me the strength to allow my family to comfort me when I didn’t want them there. He gave me strength to be proud of my faith when others were not. He gave me courage to walk around and be different from others. He gave me choice, in being a good person and a bad one. He keeps me believing in my family, in my education, in him, and overall, Myself.