Everyone won’t have to go through everything you have to go through. They also won’t understand all of the struggles you go through. Nor do they have the same future you do. The reality is: they’re not you.
It can be easy to give up too soon when it feels like all odds are against you. When you feel like nobody understands you, and when you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
I promise you that even when it feels hard, you have to keep pushing.
Just know that, one day, it will all make sense. Your struggles. Yes, even those will make sense. You will be able to have victory and authority over the very things you once struggled with and were able to conquer.
I’ll never forget going through college wondering how the heck I would finish a Mechanical Engineering degree program. I felt inadequate, but I wanted to finish what I started. Not only that, it felt like all odds were against me. I found myself working 3 jobs just to have basic necessities, involved in student organizations on campus, and cheering on the cheerleading team, all while being ONE OF TWO Black Female mechanical engineering majors on campus at the time.
It was tough. Late nights. Early mornings. Mathematical equations that seemed impossible to solve. Failed exams. Sleepless nights. Mini victories to be followed by multiple setbacks. Anxiety overwhelmed me. The fear of failure crippled me. Success seemed so far away.
Somehow I prevailed. Here’s the story behind my somehow: I never gave up. I consistently reminded myself that, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 I got help from tutors and peers when I didn’t have the answers. I spent the time necessary to grasp onto concepts of thermodynamics, mechanics, matrix algebra, differential equations, fluid dynamics and electrical circuits. It was tough, but it wasn’t impossible.
I say this to remind you that everything you want in life won’t come easy. Right now, you might not understand why your current struggles are so difficult. You might not understand that there, indeed, is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Earning my undergraduate degree from one of the top 10 universities in the nation was no easy feat. I was able to walk away from college having learned several lessons that many people would never come to understand. These lessons came with a cost, but it was a cost worth enduring.
Here’s what earning my degree taught me:
- You win when you don’t quit. Perseverance brings forth great reward. Sometimes you win simply because you never gave up. It’s usually important to finish strong, but sometimes crossing the finish-line regardless of how you crossed it is a big win for you. It may be a big win for your family, your future, the demographics you represent, and for the many generations that come after you. Don’t quit. You are worth the fight.
- Patience with your journey is a necessity. Success may not come the way you want it. You have to be patient with yourself and your process because there will be times when you may want to completely give up. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be patient and trust that all things work together for your good. Romans 8:28
- I am enough. College taught me that I was more than adequate and well-equipped. There were moments I had to dig deep to find potential within, but I had to realize that I was enough. You, darling, are more than enough. Dig deep to find your strength from within, and you won’t regret it!
- Hard work is necessary, but it’s just that. You have to put in the work to achieve success. There is no way around it. Once you put in the work, your struggles won’t seem as difficult to conquer. Work hard to get where you want to be and know that God will cover you the rest of the way.
No, it might not make sense today, and I’m not sure that it’s supposed to. Just know that one day, it will! Keep your head up, and keep pushing! Remember that you’ve got what it takes to be successful, but you have to first get yourself to believe that before you ever see success.