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Facing Your Obstacles

By Quinn Smits, Grade 11
Like most students at Stanstead College, I have had a busy year, between balancing school, sports, social time and personal time, with various struggles thrown into the mix. As this is my second year at school, I’m still constantly reminded that everything is still somewhat new to me, whether I care to admit it or not.  
In the notes tab in my phone where I added ideas for my prefect speech, there was one idea that stood out from the rest, a quote: “Accept, adapt and overcome.” This is a quote I grew up hearing from people around me, and from two people in particular, my childhood track coach John and more recently my mom. Whether my coach was referring to a hurdle on the track or in life, he recognized that everyone has something in front of them they need to overcome. Similarly, with this school year, my mom has reminded me through texts and reassuring conversations (whether I cared to listen or not) that there is a first time for everything and some way or another it will get better. And while I don’t do track anymore, I still apply this quote when I might be struggling or need some extra guidance. 
This year at school, I have had the most fun and the greatest opportunities handed to me, while on the downside I have faced many bumps in the road. At the beginning of the year, I faced many new changes even though it was my second year. After what seemed like forever, I reflected and realized that what I was facing was not only new to me but the people around me and that it would be over in the blink of an eye. I now recognize that struggling on my own won’t get me where I want or need to be. With outside help and trying my hardest to accept my situation I could persevere and adapt to my new situations. 

Throughout my time at Stanstead, I have compared my success and accomplishments to those of my peers and often felt embarrassed or not good enough, when in reality, we all have our own obstacles to manage. Everything has to happen at least once before you can get used to it, and accepting obstacles before thinking about throwing them away is the first step in getting past them. 
This year for me and many others has been a rollercoaster. If I could go back to the beginning of the year and give myself some advice, it would be to not take anything for granted and take it all one day at a time, focus on what you have been given before comparing it to that of others,’ because we have to find our own solutions that work and make the most of everything you can.