Initiative and Attitude DO Matter

Written By: Ariel Rodriguez

February 2, 2017

As someone who graduated from College with a degree in Political Science and a job in an unrelated and somewhat random field, I can truly say that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Not to say that graduating with a B.A. is nothing, but that if you float through life with no plans, you won’t achieve anything great.
I am very blessed to have a job in public safety where I educate family members and caretakers on child motor vehicle safety. I work in public risk reduction and value my job and the organization in which I work. I am proud of the work I do. However, I stumbled into this job by sheer blind luck and have been blessed with supervisors who pushed me and coworkers who opened my mind to the possibilities I have in further education.
Going to college was just the thing you were supposed to do as an adult. I didn’t consider it an investment and analyze the prospective rewards of the investment. I saw it as an obligation and an opportunity to shuffle around for 4 years and get a degree, not thinking past that finish line. No one talked to me about how I’d pay off my debts with a $30,000 salary or what my prospects for promotions and career development would be. I aimed for a degree with no other thought on what field I should work in. What I got was $48,000 in debt and a degree that allowed me to apply for jobs at Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave & Busters, and Bob Wade Auto World selling Subarus and used vehicles. Although the economy is not what it has been in the past, there is still no reason that I couldn’t shoot for something greater than this. Not having any idea what I’d do and just hoping for the best wasn’t a great game plan and it didn’t pay off.
It was only by the grace of God that I applied for the Child Passenger Safety Technician position that I got the opportunity to work for Harrisonburg Fire Department and meet some of the most dedicated and passionate people I have ever met.
Having worked around healthcare and emergency services and finding this is my passion, I have formulated a plan and am aiming for an RN degree and eventually a BSN. I haven’t gotten there yet but I have managed to go back to school to take preclinical courses and have worked 40 hours a week, been present for my daughter and husband, and earned 14 credits in a semester while keeping a 4.0 GPA. As an adult student with way more on my plate, I have done so much better and worked so much harder because I have a drive and a passion and because I was inspired to aim high.
Stagnation in life is something that can crush your spirit and make you feel worthless. We shouldn’t settle for average or stay as we are because it’s easy. It is far better to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, challenge ourselves mentally and physically, and grow as people. There is virtue in hard work and it is rewarding to do a job well done. I thank God for placing the right people in my life and giving me a partner who has done nothing but push and support me while we work together to achiever our goals and dreams.