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Misconceptions and Realizations: The Truth of Hard Work

By: Zoie Noranho

When I was younger, common sayings from my parents were, “work hard so that you can do well,” or “make sure that anything you do, you do well.” Hard work was a common theme in my house and as a daughter of immigrant parents, the expectation of academic success was placed upon my shoulders at a young age. I strived to meet their expectations throughout my childhood and into my teenage years, even managing to become grateful for their value set. But it was only recently that I came to a halt, realizing that I had never truly understood what hard work really is. When I would catch myself procrastinating during my study periods, I would shake myself up and repeat to myself that I need to “work hard” before getting into a working frenzy, just to fall off the wagon in an hour or so, turning to one of my many distractions, like my phone.

I came to the conclusion that this couldn’t be hard work, for this flawed semblance of it could not amount to all that my parents had told me. Instead of this short term dedication to the task at hand, hard work goes beyond that, while at the same time encapsulating it as well.

Upon looking at the dictionary definition, you would see a word that would encompass the idea of hard work. Endurance. To continue on the path before you without giving way. It is power that is not gifted but earned.

Hard work is the sum of daily efforts, of continuously making an informed choice, moving in the direction you choose for yourself. It is not a sudden burst of motivation, or a far fetched dream. It is rousing yourself every day, making the same decision to give it your best, and following through. To work hard is to endure times of suffering, both struggling and embracing it.

Each time a difficult situation is overcome, it only adds on the progress you’ve made. Yes, it is tedious, and can sometimes be daunting, or seem pointless. But it is in those specific moments, when your will is being tested, that you must remember the true reason you decided to walk this path. Remember why you started and use it to push yourself through the difficult times.

We don’t get to see the result of this dedication right away. Depending on the situation, we may have to wait months, or years. It could be, “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see,” as my friend Alexander Hamilton says in the Broadway musical, Hamilton.

But hard work is a tool that must be picked up and sharpened daily, honed and used regularly. As we enter into the last weeks of school, with exams and assignments piling up, call to mind what all of this is for. Reach deep within yourself to find the strength that we all have to push through times when diligence and endurance are needed. And remember, take it one step at a time! Focus on the task at hand by putting your very best effort, so that when you look back, you can say that you truly worked hard. Give it your all so you have no regrets!

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