Student Voice


November 29, 2023




Hardships should be used as motivation to persevere

February 15, 2017

Everybody goes through hardships at some point in their lives -- unfortunately, some more than others. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve started to learn that the most important thing is what a person does with those hardships, how they move on from them.

As much as I would like to say that I always use my mishaps as motivation, the reality is that sometimes they act as really big setbacks in my life.

I read an article on Fox 9’s website the other day that really inspired me, and I think it’s worth sharing. The article “Minneapolis woman turns pain into power after losing fiancé to gang violence” is about a woman, Arica Shetka, who used her unfortunate loss as fuel to do something that she’s always wanted to do.

Her fiancé, Derrick Rodgers, passed away last May as the result of a gang-related shootout on the north side of Minneapolis. The article talks about how easy it would’ve been for Shetka to lay down and submit to the feeling of grief, which would’ve been totally understandable, but instead she decided to persevere.

She packed up both her and her daughter’s things, got off the north side and relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. As a part of her new life, she wrote a novel, “The Rose Affair.” Her work is inspired by the events surrounding her fiancé’s death.

I think it’s important to note that she didn’t just pick up a journal, fill its pages with her story and then put it in a box in the closet. Instead, she’s sharing her work with others. After leaving for Nevada, she’s back in town to celebrate the release of her book at Stella’s Fish Café in Minneapolis.

Although there are a lot of things that can be learned from her situation, the article goes on to say that her main message that she wants to convey to others is “to want to change is one thing, but to make it happen you have to do something different.”

I’d say her message holds a lot of truth and power. It can be so easy to just want something and only hope that it happens, but Shetka is proof that you have to get off of your ass and strive no matter what happens along the way.

With all of this in mind, as I previously mentioned, sometimes it can be really difficult to move on from a hard situation. It sounds silly when you’re not actually in the moment dealing with the stresses, but when you are actually going through the motions it can be a lot easier to just throw in the towel instead of rising from the ashes.

With that being said, I’m really going to try and keep Shetka’s story in my mind from here on out. Granted, sometimes I may find it inevitable to succumb to defeat, but I am going to try my absolute hardest to start pinpointing silver linings in as many situations as I can.