Success Is Earned

Araceli Mendez, Guest Writer

I believe that success isn’t something handed to you. You have to work hard and have the personal discipline to achieve your goals. Growing up, I have always been taught that hard work always beats talent. I relate this to everything I set my mind to do, whether that is school, sports, or anything that challenges me in the slightest. Undoubtedly, my parents have the strongest influence on why I believe this. 

While living in a Hispanic household, it is commonplace to hear the phrase “echale ganas,” which means “give it your all.” My dad instilled this phrase in me to value education, motivate me to do my best in sports, and put effort into everyday tasks. In 1973, my dad immigrated to the United States with nothing but 5 dollars in his pocket. Every time he reflects on his experience, he sheds tears. He went through many challenges: finding a place to live, employment, transportation, and a meal to eat daily. He persevered until he found a stable job that would provide him all his basic needs. From humble origins, my parents have taught me the true value of an education and have instilled in me the strength and drive to make them proud. That feeling motivates me to try to be the best version of myself.  

For instance, coming into high school, I knew I wanted to be in honors/AP classes and be in a sport. I knew this was going to be difficult because I would have to manage school work and practice. After a week of following this routine, I already felt overwhelmed, tired, and stressed out. There were many nights where I felt like crying unstoppably; my heart was pounding out of my chest and the time was ticking faster than usual, but I knew that I wouldn’t achieve anything if I did not work hard for it. I had to readjust my routine and learn how to manage my time. So I persevered, made the volleyball team, and excelled in school. This is my success because this is what I wanted and I worked hard to get it. 

To conclude, I have learned that challenges will always rise against me when wanting to be successful, but the only way to get to that endpoint is hard work. I have seen it first hand with my dad’s stories and have experienced it now myself. Furthermore, it shows time and time again that hard work will get you to where you want to be. I hope that one day I can instill this belief into my children as my dad did with me.