It’s about the process.

October 20, 2015


This is my fifth year at Shattuck, and for the previous four years I was a day student and had to commute three hours every day. These last four years I’ve travelled over 152,000 miles between home and campus. This is around 2,500 trips up and down the highway. I would wake up at 5:30 and return home at 9 at night. We all give up something to come here; mine was time.

I once heard a teacher refer to Shattuck as a place where dreams are destroyed. I pondered this a long time and realized how false it is. It is true in the sense that, yes, I may not reach my dream of becoming of professional soccer player. However, that is not what this place is truly about and no one promises you anything in life anyway. I do not define my success here based on whether or not I sign a professional contract. Instead, I define my success as falling in love with the process of being successful and giving it everything I have to give.

After experiencing five years of Shattuck and competing with some of the best athletes and students from across the country and even world, I have come to the realization that in order to achieve my dreams and become successful I have to be willing to sacrifice. Sacrifice comes in many forms, whether that is waking up at 5:30 am to drive an hour and a half to school, spending extra time at the weight room, or giving up so many aspects of life regular kids have. One of my favorite musicians of all time, J-Cole, provided me with great insight to this process of achieving success. He stated, “There’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” In other words, rather than complaining about the few sacrifices I have made, I need to accept the beauty in the struggle and rather than complaining about it, I need to embrace it. J-Cole explains in his quotation that the struggle and the grind is essentially the most beautiful part someone’s entire story, and if and only when I truly love to grind and work hard, then I will become successful. 

I have fallen in love with waking up early to workout, fallen in love with traveling hours and hours with my best friends on long bus rides, fallen in love with training hour after hour. I have fallen in love with the process of success, the process of achieving my dreams, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, and I feel I’ve earned the right to consider myself successful, no matter where my future lies.

My future is uncertain and quite frankly it scares me. But no matter what my future holds for me, I’m ready for it. 

 - Luke Haakenson ’16

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