Pushing on to Success

Ji Hye - Romania
Entered on March 9, 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.

I believe that perseverance is the key to success. Talent, time, resources, and determination are important, but with no perseverance, there is no success. Lack of perseverance is lack of success, I have felt it on my very skin as I lived in a foreign country with different everything.

I moved to Romania at the age of three with my parents as missionaries. The first impression I got was- well, that everything was gray: sky, road, building, air. It was cold and strange, different from the place I had in Korea. It wasn’t like I had to start all over because I was so young. I didn’t start anything in Korea yet. Even if it was a cold and strange environment, I was open to learning many things. Of course, everything required a lot of effort and perseverance. Language, custom, culture- all was new to me. I had to give double effort to accomplish things that Romanian kids of my age did. This was frustrating but I had to keep trying. I had to persevere.

The difference became more evident as I entered Romanian middle school. I felt disappointed every time I got a lower grade than my classmates. The problem wasn’t the grade. The real problem was that I had to put in effort to earn those grades- more effort than my classmates put. There was this girl who always hung out with friends and copied other people’s homework on the next day. Despite her slacking off, she got the same grades as I did! Sometimes I really felt like giving up. It was hard to keep going, to persevere. The “deathblow” came to me when I received my score on the history midterm. I felt sick when I saw the score. I felt like crying when I saw the result of all my efforts: the lowest grade in class. This couldn’t be happening.

Things didn’t always end in a bad way. Effort and perseverance gave their result in other areas like math and Romanian. I was satisfied with the results I got most of the time. But then, it was in my personality to remember the bad moments more than the good moments. I realized that if the effort I put wasn’t enough, I just had to try harder. I needed to persevere in my work and show others what I was capable of. I had learned that this world is tough and that there is no room for laziness. This was the most important lesson I have learned so far living in this country.

Through my experience I realized that success comes only to those who try and keep going on. It took a lot of effort for me to be the person I am today. I went through many hardships and many times I felt like giving up. As my mom said, “God will help you, but you have to give your best first.” I believe that perseverance is a must and not an option for reaching success.