Oct. 23, 2003

While time stretches eternally before me, the ferry shudders as it leaves the pier. My gaze extends back to the shore where the color wheel of humanity swarms like ants through the various shops. As I turn, I release the rail and turn away from the last year and a half of my life. I smell the salt air and feel the crisp New England breeze, sharp and relaxing, a drop of lemon in a glass of ice water. My look is of ice as I turn back toward the Island one last time. Indifferent to my thoughts, the vessel continues on its accustomed course; the mainland. Leaving the Island is the first step in going somewhere and doing something with oneself. In doing that, I am showing that I am committed to my goals and am ready to work for them.

Being committed to one’s goals is what one needs to complete his tasks, whether he likes them or not. To obtain an end goal, one must be prepared to do undesirable tasks necessary for that goal. It is the ability to provide the necessary motivation to finish. Anyone can do well what they like to do; however, not everyone can do well what they do not like to do. I am committed to my goals and ready to make it through the hard spots.

Once you have an incentive, you must be ready to work for it. I am ready to work hard in my chosen field, knowing it to be a crucial step toward accomplishing my end goals. Even knowing what you want, it will be unattainable without a significant amount of effort on your part. I am ready to work for my goals. In order to succeed, a person needs to have the motivation, the will, and the incentive to push on through challenges. They will need the ability to work though diversion and outright opposition. Nothing of value can be gained without an equal amount of work, and one can’t work through the hard times without a significant amount of motivation. I know what my end goals are, and I’m ready for them.

Robert J. Shaw, a native Islander, wrote this as he left the Vineyard after high school. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering on December 15, 2008.