When I was in the third grade, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to study wildlife in the jungle. Adults around me would tell me, “That is a wonderful dream, go for it.”
By the time I was in high school, I still knew that I wanted to go to the jungle and work with wildlife. People around me told me, “Aren’t you a little too old for this?” or “That field is very hard to get into.”
I was not discouraged. I applied to college and I met two wonderful professors. They encouraged me. My parents did, too. I was able to take a trip to Thailand. My trip to Thailand was eye-opening, I realized I could actually do what I have always wanted to do as a child: Work with wildlife in the jungle. A few months later I had the opportunity to go to Nepal. I could not pass that up.
Now I know that I can follow my dreams and do whatever I want to do. I know that I have to skills to succeed as a conservation biologist.
In September, I will attend University of Michigan as a graduate student. In summer 2014, I hope to have the chance to return to Nepal. Five months in Nepal has changed my life. Things that were important to me before are not as important. For example, I am able to upgrade my smart phone now. Before I left, I would have gotten the newest, coolest phone. But now, after living near people who do not even own phones, I do not see the point in upgrading. I own a phone that works. Why buy a new phone?
Like most people, I do not come from a wealthy family. This month I became the first in my family to graduate from college. I am proud! My hard work has paid off. The last five years, I worked really hard to get where I am today. I applied for scholarships, went to school full time, and had a part-time job.
The famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, once said, “It is hard to beat a person that never gives up.” I find this to be true. So, if you have a dream to be a teacher, a doctor, a geologist, or even a conservation biologist, follow it and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it or it is too hard! Hard work is important. You have to work for the things you want in life.
I would like to thank you for following my journey in Nepal. The best part of my trip was sharing it with your class. It gave me time to sit and think about what I was doing in Nepal. I hope you have learned a lot about Nepal, Nepali culture, and wildlife conservation in poor countries.