staying motivated withDiana

Diana always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Although it wasn’t easy, she never gave up. Diana, who is from Colombia, couldn’t afford to go to college after high school. Instead, she began to work to try to save money for it. When she became pregnant, it seemed her dream wouldn’t come true. But the young single mother was determined not to give up. Although it took her many years to do so, she finally earned her teaching degree.

After teaching English for more than a decade, she decided to leave Colombia for the opportunity to teach Spanish in the U.S. Since her arrival nearly two years ago, she has navigated teaching through the COVID-19 pandemic while building a new life. The transition was really hard at first, she says. School staff helped her acclimate and made her feel more comfortable and confident. Here’s what she has to say about eliminating nonsense, pursuing your dreams, and trusting yourself.

It took you a long time to achieve your dream of becoming a teacher because you were a single mother. How did you stay motivated to reach your goal?

I’ve been so persistent, but also, as there were people discouraging me, there were other people trying to tell me, “You can do that if you want it.” It took seven years to get into a university. I was working in a place, and there I met a person. She’s a teacher too. She knew that I wanted to be a teacher. So, she tried to encourage me to look for ways to find a spot at a public university in Colombia, which is a little bit difficult. But I was looking for the way to do it. I took some exams. I had to redo some things because seven years had passed since I left high school. But at the end, I was able to get into the university. Then it took me the regular amount of time to do my studies (five years).

“The main goal you need to have is to trust yourself.”

How do you eliminate the nonsense in your life?

I think that most important for me is taking my mind off of things that I’m doing. As teachers, we do many things. And apart from that, I am a mom, and I have many things going on. Usually what I try to do — it’s going outside, doing some physical activity, taking time to interact with nature. So, it’s like my moment to thank God for all that I have, for all that I can see, for everything that I do every day, for people that I can share with and talk to every day, for my profession, and for the things that I have overcome in my life.

“Everything you want to do—you are able to do it.”

If you had 30 seconds to address the world, what would you say about who you are and what you stand for?

I think that the main goal you need to have is to trust yourself and be comfortable with yourself and know that there are no bigger limits than the ones that you set on yourself. Everything you want to do — you are able to do it. There is nothing better than looking at what you want, facing it, and trying to overcome that.

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