I am a 19, almost 20, year old female that attends the University of Cincinnati (UC). I am a double major and I am also receiving two certificates. The past two academic years, I have taken between 15 to 17 credit hours per semester. In my two years at UC, I have only missed a total of four classes. I am the president of an academic honorary in addition to being a member of two clubs. I write for the Odyssey and write for UC's school newspaper every now and then. I never miss a home football or men's basketball game, and I attend church every Sunday with a group of friends. To top it all off, I am graduating a year early.
I am proud of my accomplishments and thankful for the blessings God has given me. However, I am not trying to brag about myself or seem cocky. If I have learned anything through my religious journey so far, it is to be humble and He has humbled me numerous times. Yet, whether I am in an interview, meeting with my advisor or even reconnecting with old friends, there is one question that I am constantly asked, "How do you do it?"
As a former soccer athlete that was coached by an old staff member for the Columbus Crew, I developed a strong work ethic and a highly competitive nature. I grew up as an athlete that was trained to work hard and push myself to my limits at every practice, game, and tournament. This behavior carried over into my work as a student. In my four years of high school, I was in several extra-curricular activities and clubs, holding some board member positions and sometimes I was just a member, and I only took honors or advanced-placement (AP) classes.
I strived to be the best well-rounded student that I could be. I worked hard and pushed myself to the point where it caught up with me during my senior year. I had several mental breakdowns and constantly felt stressed about my future. But because I put in the work, effort and followed God's path, he blessed me when I came to UC by transferring in all my honors and AP credits resulting in a great surprise.
After a meeting with my advisor in the middle of my first semester, I was told that I had enough credits to achieve Sophomore status, and I remember feeling panic flow through my entire body for a moment. However, I thought back to my training as an athlete and how I carried it over through high school and realized that I was the only person holding myself back through this feeling of panic. Therefore, I continued to work hard and push myself resulting in my current life as a student at UC.
To those who have asked me how do I do it, and to those who have been asked the same or similar question due to our crazy way of living, the answer is simple. I, or rather we, put in the work. We push ourselves to our limits working to become well-rounded. And as a personal follower of God, I believe we have God guiding us. There are times we break down and feel that everything we are doing is too much. However, after a small breakdown, we raise our heads, stand up a little bit taller, and remember the time and effort that we have put in to get to where we are. We don't look back, we keep moving forward, and we never back down from working to become the best that we can be knowing that it will pay off in the end.