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Published: Thursday 31st of October 2013
Back in the time, I would spend many days wondering if my current life situation was inhibiting me from achieving my goals. What did I even want out of life and how was I going to achieve things in my current situation? Knowing what tasks were at hand was essential to realize what my dreams were. When I started thinking big in terms of academic achievements, I was only 21 and I had spent the past few years working odd jobs for odd people at odd companies – I was at odds with the world and my life wasn’t taking me to where I wanted to be. I barely had enough to make ends meet, and I was constantly in debt, paying bills and confined to the east end of London, wallowing in a filthy council estate. Suddenly, a realization clicked as I was watching a TV show where a marine biologist was being interviewed. It was this one interview that would change my life and get me onto a new path of achieving academically.
Although I was a bright kid, my teachers were often frustrated with my insubordinate attitude and unwillingness to conform. It was as though I didn’t want to study and, to be honest, I never felt inspired to do so, however, I have now come to understand that this is all I want to do. Because I didn’t feel the need to study at school, I often didn’t feel the need to study after school finished and so didn’t bother working towards achieving some sort of higher education. I took different jobs and discovered that I sometimes enjoyed, but never did I feel challenged by my work and never did I consider having any goals to work towards. The old cliché “stay in school” certainly applied here – it is what I should have done to make my life better.
When I watched that interview with that marine biologist, something hit me and I knew that there was a whole new world of academic achievement waiting for me. I read around the subject and became highly enthused by all the intricate details about marine flora and fauna, as well as the bizarre creatures. Everything seemed so complex, yet managed to evolve so perfectly in the balance of the ecosystem. I knew I had to discover more.
I went and took some new A-level subjects in a local college and was able to start with working on my academic goals straight away achieving the grades I needed for a good university place. Not only I managed to achieve these standards, I felt good inside for reaching my desired goals. It was part one of a learning curve that would never end, and I liked every bit of it. Returning back to school was only the start, and the end was getting a degree in marine biology, but then what next?
I thought my academic goals were all scored but I craved more. With marine biology, there is an infinite amount that you can discover. The intricacies of the oceans and seas are so complex that one is always questioning what is out there. After my undergraduate degree, I worked on a new goal of a master’s degree and, once this had been achieved, a post-doctorate. Never in my wildest dreams, I saw I could even have academic goals, let alone to achieve so many as to become a professor of Marine Biology at a top university.
I love my new life and my job now as an educator and researcher. I’m constantly pushed and kept on my toes to discover new and explore more about the ocean. My academic goals are changing, and the world is an exciting place for me. I never thought that I’d come along this far. The difference between my life pre-realization and post-realization is that I feel a sense of achievement. I can safely conclude that you’re probably going to be in a much better off position once you have an academic degree under your belt – at least you’ll be in a better position to make choices about what to do, and when you find what works best, you can go for it with ease.
Education is as important as having goals to facilitate achievement in education. You could be the sharpest tool in the box but without any ambition and goals to work towards, you’ll end up not where you wanted to be – take it from me, and it’s true. Once I had some goals on board, I could feel a sense of urgency and commitment to do the best and it brought me happiness. If you’re stuck in a rut, get a pen and paper and set a few academic goals for yourself. Maybe you’d like to learn a language, or learn about some popular science? Whatever size your goals are you’ll feel great when you achieve them.