Published in the March 29 – April 11, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Emma Orth

Emma Orth

When I was in eighth grade, I made — what I consider to be — a life-changing decision. I decided to apply to Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA). To my excitement, I was accepted.

My first semester there was a culture shock. GECA was really tough compared to the previous schools I had attended. I found myself pushed to my limits, both academically as well as psychologically. I knew I had to do well if I wanted to attend a good college and beyond that, veterinary school.

My goal of becoming a veterinarian is what kept me motivated to put as much effort as possible into my high school and college classes. There were countless late nights where I pushed myself to my limits to finish a project or to study for a big test (now that I think about it, I may have procrastinated a time or two), but those late nights showed me how dedicated I was to my work.

Throughout my GECA experience, my parents continued to play a key role in helping me stay motivated by reminding me that the decisions I make in high school can open or close doors for me when it comes to colleges. My best friend also helps motivate me to do well because we encourage each other and cheer each other on when working on homework or a project. Although I am grateful to have so many wonderful people who support me, I think my self-determination is probably the biggest determinant of my ability to stay motivated, as I constantly remind myself that everything I am doing in school will eventually help me become a veterinarian.

I have come to realize that our lives are directed by the choices we make, including the decisions we make early in life, especially those pertaining to school. Some students feel pressure from their parents or guardians to do well in school and to get good grades, while others receive pressure from their teachers or counselors, while still others receive pressure from no one and are left to place that pressure to do well upon themselves.

Regardless of whether or not a student is encouraged to do well in school, the motivation itself — to succeed in school — should come from the student. After all, it is the student’s future that depends on his or her success in school. The student should realize doing well in school will make it easier for them to do well in life.

Self-motivation pushes a student to feel like they must give their all, not to please their parent or teacher, but to pave the way for future success in that student’s life and to open as many doors as possible Moreover, success in school allows students to pursue their passions and allows students to pursue successful futures.

Youth Action Council member Emma Orth is a 17-year-old senior at TJ Early Academy. She enjoys riding her horse, baking and spending time with friends.