No Pain No Gain

Guo Lan - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on April 19, 2009

Both Americans and Chinese have the saying “No pain, No Gain.” I truly believe nothing can be accomplished without some pain and suffering. In sports, all athletes know there is suffering before there are results. Weightlifters know they must tear the muscle before it can get bigger. When we marry and have children, there are sacrifices we are willing to make. These sacrifices are the pain we go through for a successful married life. To raise our children, maybe we have to give up new clothes, do our own fingernails, and give up much of our social life. Maybe this is not the physical pain of athletes, but nevertheless it is pain.

For me to go to university has been painful. I had to leave my husband and my family 10,000 miles away. My husband works very hard so that I do not have to work and can concentrate on my studies. We both know how important my education is for our future. If it takes a typical American student three hours of study to prepare for a class, it may take me eight hours. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself, because a “C” is not acceptable and a “B” is disappointing. This pressure and the long study hours are also pain. I remember, when I attended biology class for the first time, I was really shocked because I did not understand the lecture at all. After I went home, I cried. I was afraid of the new terms and tons of difficult words to memorize. Plus, I do not have a medical background. At that time, my mind thought a thousand times about dropping the class.

My Chinese friend, Wenzy, graduated from St Louis Community College at Forest Park. Wenzy did not have a medical background, but she graduated with a good academic rating. She gave me some good advice and encouraged me to keep studying. Meanwhile, my American nursing friend told me that she also had to study and read eight hours a day to pass the courses. So I truly believe that all students have to study very hard in order to get a good education. Since then, I study from early morning until midnight every day. I also go to tutoring for a few hours a day when I need help. That is really helpful. Now I am achieving good grades in all my courses.

Why would I leave my family, work very hard, and sail cross the ocean at great expense? My aim is to get a higher education. None of my family was able to have this opportunity. To excel or accomplish something it takes some form of pain. None of us like pain, so one would only go through this pain if in the end there was gain.