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Don't Just Take Your Shot, Believe In It!

By Zackary Maheu, Grade 11
Today I’m going to tell you a story about something that happened to me about two years ago when I first started applying to Stanstead. My best friend Jeremy Leroux, who was already a student at Stanstead, told me that he wanted me to come and that I would love it.
When I told all my friends that I was applying here, they started laughing at me and mocking me saying that I would never get into Stanstead College. I was one of the worst players on my hockey team and I started to think that making the team at Stanstead would be impossible for me. I started doubting myself. I was listening to them. And I thought: “Maybe they’re right? Maybe I won’t get into Stanstead? Maybe I’m not good enough?” I was overthinking everything.
Later that day, I called my coach and asked him if he thought it was worth applying here, knowing that my chances of getting in were small. And he told me that if I was willing to work hard and if I wanted it more than anything, I would make it.
That was the motivation I needed. I started working hard in the gym, putting in extra time on the ice, eating well and going to bed early. I was ready and willing to do anything to achieve my goal. We didn’t play games that year because of COVID, but I kept on working harder than ever. Some of my teammates started to hate on me saying that it was a waste of time and that I would never make it. But this time, I didn’t listen to them. I was too busy focusing on my goal.
Later that year, I received an email saying that I was accepted to Stanstead College. I was so happy. It was one of the best moments of my life. I realized that all the hard work had paid off!
Now you might be wondering why I told you this story. Well, it’s to show you how important it is to believe in yourself. People will often give up on their dreams simply because they don’t believe in themselves. They care too much about what others might think or say about them… and they shouldn’t! That’s how it was for me. I was about to give up on my goal simply because I was listening to other people. People who didn’t think I could do it. People who didn’t think I could succeed.
What I learned and -- what you should learn -- is to ignore those people. Go out and prove them wrong!  The good thing is that you will also have people supporting you and believing in you. If ever you or others have doubts about achieving your goals, you must believe in yourself. Think about what YOU want. What YOU believe. If you look for advice, listen to those who want to see you succeed rather than the ones who think you will fail. That was the key for me. I wanted to make it for Jay.  I wanted to make my coach proud. And I wanted to do it for ME. I achieved my goal. But even if it hadn’t worked out, at least I tried my very best.

Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” Gretzky was referring to hockey but it works with anything in life. You will never succeed if you don’t give it a try. So believe in yourself. Chase your dreams. And take your shot. You just might score a big goal.