The important of high level of determination and work ethics
Part 1 of 2 One of the things I learned from overcoming an NVLD is how important determination and having a strong work ethic are as given our unique deficits it is easy to be underestimated. Having these great traits generally puts an end to this underestimation as the adults working with you will see beyond your disability and see your true ability. This results in an increase of self-confidence and stronger personal relationships with those around you.
For example, at Dean College Dr. Ann Smith the Arch Program Director at first had some doubts about me which required weekly check ins with her which was hard at first. . However, at midterm time during one of our meetings she went great lengths talking about my work ethic and how I was one of the few students she hasn’t had to worry about as my bi-weekly reports from my professors and Arch Instructor have been excellent. What was really touching was when she told me I was the most realistic student in the program as I knew my strengths and accepted the needed support. This led to Friday check in’s being removed and being a student she had so much confidence in. This truly meant so much to me as I had made an excellent advocate so quickly. She truly was my biggest supporter at Dean.
In addition these qualities led to me being a student presenter on visitations days as Dr. Smith believed I was a model student. This was a great honor and made me realize the best student isn’t always the strongest on paper. During these programs I spoke about the importance of demonstrating an excellent work ethic and high level of determination and how these are so important for college success. This made a great impression on the visitors. Today I know if I hadn’t been so determined and driven to succeed my relationship with her would have been so different as I know on paper I didn’t look like the student I really was.
I also saw how important these traits were during my time as a three season athlete as both my coaches,Penny Sharrow and Jim Adams, loved my determination and work ethic despite it being clear I was always going to be a slower runner. This belief in me helped me be such a valuable teammate but most of all, any feelings of being underestimated disappeared immediately .. Yes it is true both Penny and Jim were beyond open to giving me a chance though given the nature of NVLD I still presented a few concerns.It truly was a major confidence booster as they had a great deal of respect for me and became real advocates of mine. If I didn’t possess these traits I know I wouldn’t have had great relationships with my coaches and wouldn’t have been as happy being a three season athlete.
In addition to sports I learned this also in the classroom by being able to be included in the regular level English and History courses rather than the”C” courses that were just for resource room students and significantly less challenging. Initially there were concerns however with my determination and work ethic I showed that I belonged in the regular level classes as I earned average to above average grades. As a result all my English and History teachers had great confidence in me as a student and they saw my ability first not my disability. My U.S History teacher even wrote me a letter of recommendation for college. This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t demonstrate a strong work ethic and high level of determination as it would have been harder to see my ability..
Unfortunately not enough students and their parents understand the importance of developing an excellent work ethic and strong level of determination. This often results in limited opportunities to take on challenges and to form mentors. In the long run not having these skills can lead to self-esteem issues as this causes your teachers and coaches to focus on your disability too much . This truly can hurt emotionally as often you see classmates having an easier time building wonderful connections throughout the school day. Fortunately for me I knew early on how important these traits were and made sure I developed them. This led to wonderful academic and social experiences despite having an NVLD. This also greatly boosted my self-confidence as I knew those around me could see my strengths which resulted in having a remarkable support system. They knew my disability wasn’t going to stop me from succeeding academically and socially.
Overall I can’t stress enough how important it is to have high levels of determination and an excellent work ethic as with the diverse deficits of an NVLD and similar disabilities it is easy to be underestimated. The truth is there is more than meets the eye in each individual and observing these traits allows others to see this which allows them to see more accurately the true you. This truly leads to greater self-confidence and more