By Sarah Williams
Adrian, better known as Ian, graduated with a 4.7 grade point average.
When asked what kept him focused all the years he has attended school, he replied, “I’ve always thought education was important, and that’s what has made it, sometimes but not always, easy to focus. Even when it gets difficult, I feel like I’m getting something out of the learning process. The challenges help to add to what I take away from an experience, which in turn makes me hungry for more knowledge.”
Ian believes that education is necessary for a successful career as well as for constructive life journeys. “Almost any student will say that along with the difficulty of challenging academics, finding the motivation to stay focused is one of the toughest obstacles. Setting goals has helped me to focus on what I want to achieve. Once I know where I want to be, it is much easier to figure out what needs to be completed to get from start to finish.”
Ian believes that having “fantastic friends and peers” can both challenge and benefit students who are striving to excel.
“Being in the presence of outstanding classmates and friends can have a positive effect on students,” he says. “From in-class discussions to deep philosophical conversations over a cup of java in the local coffee shop, thinking can be pushed to a higher level. I’ve had some interactions that have challenged my ideas and made me grow as an individual.”
Ian also demonstrates the valuable openness to new ideas that leads to high achievement and long-term accomplishment. He says, “Regardless of whether I agree with someone or not, I’ve found that there is something to be learned from each person’s point of view. When other people are good at sharing their perspectives, I can walk away from the conversation with loads of new ideas on a topic. Being surrounded by outstanding people can really help to inspire the curious mind.”
Ian’s goal is to do the best he can in everything that he can. He aims to never settle for mediocrity and to always seek a challenge. Under these guiding principles he will always be an individual he can be proud of, no matter which direction he chooses to travel.
“I admit to not knowing what I want to do for a living,” he says. He also is confident that “if I strive for excellence in everything I do, when I discover the path I want to follow, I will travel it with confidence and self-assurance.”
But at this point in life, he recognizes that it’s far too early to settle on any particular career; there are “too many adventures” to be experienced.
“Maybe I’ll take an interest in washing windows; if I do, I’ll make sure to be the best window-washer around.” But, he adds, “Regardless of what I end up doing, I’d like to continue to learn. Whether it’s languages, cultures, or day-to-day tasks, if someone is willing to teach, I will learn. The world is too interconnected to stay locked in a local mindset. I want to experience it on a global scale and use whatever knowledge I can glean in order to make it better for everyone.”
The sky’s the limit, Ian, so reach for the stars!