Today Decides Tomorrow

Aaron - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“Today decides Tomorrow.” This was the mission statement of my high school. It has taken me almost 10 year to truly understand what this short simple phrase meant. After I graduated from high school I, like thousands of ambitious youths every year, went off to college. It retrospect I wasn’t ready to take this step, but took it because it was what I was supposed to do not what I wanted to do. So, I spent my time focused not on schoolwork, but doing what I felt like doing. After three wholly enjoyable…and academically dismal semesters I took a “leave of absences” from the university. I suppose in reality I dropped out but I never called it that. I guess some people would call it denial, I think it was a way to keep some distant focus on finishing my degree.

I began working part time in a grocery store and taking classes at the local community college, always with the idea that I would one-day return to finish my degree. However, working and taking classes became too much to handle. So, I decided to stop taking classes in favor of saving money.

Yet, after two years of this routine the desire to finish my degree for myself continued to elude me. My life was comfortable living with my parents and school was always just on the back burner. But the feelings of frustration with myself for this shortcoming soon began eat away at me. Ultimately to I chose to try and shock myself into understanding. So, with what little savings I had and the support of my friends and family I moved out of my parent’s house in order to experience real life and the responsibility for all of my own living expenses. A proverbial “crash course” in reality if you will.

Three years of fulltime work and living little more than paycheck to pay check has taught me more than a few lessons about life and the paramount importance of finishing my degree. I had come to the understanding, within myself, that I wanted that degree. I could clearly see that I could not grow my life without a degree. Any fool could see that finishing my degree was in my best interest.

I had played the fool for nearly five years and I was finally ready to look for a new part to play in the world. So I applied for re-admittance to school and for the first time I am truly focused on keeping my priorities straight. Now I’m well on my way to getting a Biology degree and performing better in school that ever before.

It was then that I came to the realization that the high school was right. Every decision I had made, no matter how insignificant it seemed affected my future. When I chose to ignore work I did poorly. When I decided that I wanted my degree, I began to take the step to make it happen. But it took that decision to drive the result. “Today decides Tomorrow”, this I believe.