Beginning to Finish

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

After being in the States for a few weeks, my College had an official ceremony to welcome the new Freshman Class and the returning students. 

They told us to sit together to the left of the auditorium. The president, during his speech, asked us to look to the left and to the right. I did what he asked. I can't remember who was sitting next to me. He proceeded to inform us that most likely, those people were not going to be there in 4 years for graduation. I wasn't as fluent in English as I am now but that statement shocked me. He said, "be someone who will be diligent to finish your college degree and graduate." 

I decided right then and there that I was going to be someone sitting at graduation. I also decided I was going to graduate with honors. 

A lot of people begin. Few people finish. I want to make a few suggestions on how you and I can finish what we begin.

• Decide you will finish what you begin. I don't think a lot of us put a lot of intention in staying the course so we can finish. While there are many tricks to staying motivated, there is only one way we can guarantee that we will have a strong reason to stay committed. 

• Know your Why. Sitting in that college assembly, I had my "why" close to my heart. I left my family and country with $200 dollars and two suitcases. That previous week, someone robbed me of $100 so my cash was pretty low. I thought about my ancestors. I came from strong men and women who were once enslaved. Living in the freedom some of them didn't have, meant succeeding in academics. My "why" was, I am the dream and the hope of my ancestors. I was empowered to do something good with my life. Higher Education was one way to make all of that possible. 

• Be comfortable with Hard Work. There is no easy way to finishing what you begin. You will have to be comfortable with hard work. I learned this by working my way through college. I worked during the school year, I worked summers. I worked hard at every class I took. My goal was to finish with honors so my work had to reflect my end-goal. 

I don't remember the people who were sitting at my right and left my Freshman year because they were not there for graduation. I can't tell you what happened to them. I do hope they finished their degree on a later date. 

As for me, I was blessed to finish with honors. I went on to get a Masters Degree. I can trace this back to God's blessing. I can also say that I decided to finish what I began. I knew my Why. I was also comfortable with hard work. 

Question: Do you have the habit of finishing what you start? If yes, how do you do that? If your answer is no, have you considered the three-steps I suggested?