Spirit, enthusiasm, individualism seem to rule the day in terms of qualities of today's youth, but the real diligence lies--as it always has--in one's work ethic. Before integrity became a buzz word among those seeking approval from their superiors, a man or woman's ability to stick to the job and his or her follow-through have long ruled the day. Not everyone can talk the talk of work ethic--not unless he or she has been through the long, difficult journey that develops the ethic itself. For any talent bestowed upon me, through any contribution I may have made or will make, my experiences and accomplishments derive from this one personal quality my parents have instilled in me: work ethic.
Work ethic has become everything to me. It hasn't always been this way, but what my parents did for me didn't just fall into my lap. I barely earned a 2.7 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in high school simply because I didn't apply myself to the task, but as I have learned the American saying appears to have merit: "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Thankfully, for me, that means I was fortunate to have had parents who worked their "fingers to the bone" so steadily for so many years that their diligence flourished in me during college, and here I stand today with a healthy 3.4 in a setting much more formidable than mere high school courses. I am ever so thankful for my parents for instilling in me the personal quality of work ethic!
I cannot say I don't know what I did to come this far. I knew I slacked off in high school. It was confirmed during my attendance to community college whee I was put in many remedial and beginning math and English classes. Not being the brightest star in the sky of students, I had to apply myself diligently to the task of improving my scholastics; I did it with the help of extracurricular activity--student government. Throughout high school, teachers and counselors always said grades weren't enough, that how involved a student got determined whether universities would notice them. Even so, it wasn't until college that it really sunk in. I was in college, but it wasn't going to be enough to continue on grade point average alone, I knew that being anti-social wouldn't get me anywhere. Becoming an Associated Student gave me the people skills I needed to be able to interact more successfully with my peers, and I am very glad for it. This did not distract me from my studies; it honed them and gave me more purpose to develop that work ethic that will continue to not only enhance my leadership skills but also will make my parents proud of me.
Pride belongs to me, too. I am proud to be who I am, partly because of who I have become and partly because of where I came from. I was born in Hong Kong. At five, my family moved to Vietnam. At 10, we moved to the United States of America, where have moved from Seattle to other cities and Los Angeles. Where I've come from is part of who I am, and I am proud to say how my parents were able to keep moving and keep working--though they never gained more than a middle school education. Regardless of their inability to learn to read and write, they instilled in me a thirst not only to survive but also to thrive. Because of their struggle, I am where I am.
This pride is not conceited; it is my confidence, that which I have gained through my parents' diligence and hard work, that which has become my work ethic. My parents worked every day to put a decent meal on the table, and that really pushed me to become a better person. They came halfway around the world just to bring me here to America to become who I am to day, to give me the opportunity to be successful. And here I am, writing a paper about the work ethic I got from them. I am almost giddy (with that spirit and enthusiasm I mentioned above), knowing what my parents did for me. I have matured, and I am working hard, diligently and assiduously, for my family and for myself.