Erica Merza, Development and Marketing Intern

I grew up being encouraged to do only one thing. Be better. It doesn’t mean to be better than the person sitting next to you. It means to be better than who you were yesterday. 

Adults all know that teaching children how to be polite and reach their full potential is an important task that can take a lot of hard work. Yet how many of us adults take time to regularly think about how we can improve ourselves?

As a university student whose degree requires many group projects, I find I am the one who has a talent for listening. It’s a skill I’ve pushed myself to develop these past few semesters after realizing how terrible I was with understanding other’s thoughts; and it is now paying off. I have been given the ability to learn what my group members are dealing with and to offer them a shoulder to lean on. Due to this I have been able to talk our group through emotional stressors and keep our group focused and positive while being aware and respectful of everyone’s concerns.

With the fall semester ending, I was asked how I was able to see the positive in every situation we faced. My answer was that I kept trying each day to handle each problem we had better than how I handled it the day before. I had to keep reminding myself that although some answers seemed so simple, I didn’t know how others thought. So I couldn’t expect anyone to see things the same way unless we spoke about our reasoning with each other.

As adults we can forget that we are still growing and learning. Doing our best is more than keeping our bedrooms clean and eating our vegetables like our parents asked us when we were little. Doing our best means everyday trying to better listen to people or improve a skill.

We sometimes need a reminder that children aren’t the only ones who learn something new each day. Children however, accept that they are still growing and they try to learn as much as they can. I believe that while we encourage children to grow, we should also see them as an inspiration to motivate ourselves to grow each day as well.

To be better means, accepting that you have not finished growing.