May brings back a host of memories of completing the school semester and taking finals. As I drive through the TCU campus, I almost shudder recalling the years of taking finals and the stress accompanying them. As I watch my own daughter, a graduating high school senior, prepare for her final exams, the stress she is under permeates our home. (not at all fun for our family of six)
My encouragement to all of our patients who are pursuing education is to Finish Strong. You will survive finals and make it to the summer. The question remaining is, "Will you provide your best effort?” There are a host of reasons to Finish Strong: achieving the grade you desire, genuine interest in the subject matter, the hope of making your teacher proud, and fulfilling the expectations your parents have requested. Most of the meaningful accomplishments in my life came through hard work and determination. I was a good student, but not a great one. I was one of those guys who had to work HARD. (How I envied some of my buddies who seemed to never crack books and still fly by with A’s and B’s.) Though honestly, I do not know anyone who made it through their school years without a few bumps along the way. I can almost guarantee you will experience disappointment. I know I did. Thus, please do not let a professor, teacher, instructor, or grade define you.
I had one of my favorite professors in college tell me, "The only reason you are pursuing dentistry is because you want to be a doctor." I was devastated. I thought he knew me better and the goals I had in my life. At that point, I had a choice. Would his opinion "define me," or would I allow this to simply be a "defining moment". I chose the latter. This became a moment in which I determined to prove his words a lie. I searched my heart and validated my reasons behind my career choice, and I worked harder to become who I knew God had called me to be. This bump became a defining moment for me in a very positive way.
Thank goodness I chose to pursue my heart’s calling and not let one person or his opinion of me take me out. As your orthodontist, I desire to provide you with the best smile imaginable and encourage you to pursue your dreams. I know you can Finish Strong with hard work and a little sacrifice. For me, the sacrifices I made are worth it everyday. I have the privilege of being your orthodontist, getting to know your heart, and seeing you achieve your goals. Choose for those bumps in life (those crummy grades, those not so understanding teachers, those circumstantial friends, and those personal mistakes along the way) to simply become teachable moments. Remember, they do not define you. You are bigger and your dreams are reachable. Finish Strong, friends! Finish strong, seniors. The best truly is yet to come!
(PS. - Graduating seniors, make sure you send us an announcement or stop by our office this month. We have a special gift for YOU!)