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Laura Matías

Janice Esau

Is Laura Matías a Diligent Problem Solver?

(y​4​x​2​ + 2xy – y)/(x – 1). I am pretty sure there are simple steps to solve this algebra

equation, but I wish that the other aspects of life were as simple as that. Recently, a certain

situation made me realize I wasn’t a Diligent Problem Solver. A Diligent Problem Solver is

a person who, when presented with a problem, can use the resources around them, such as

technology, knowledge, and people, to come up with a creative, logical, and effective

solution. It is important to be a problem solver because life brings many challenges that one

has to be able to deal with and makes one become independent and not have to rely on

others all the time, which pushed me to grow in that area. When a new dilemma arrived in

my life, I decided that I would proceed differently than I did with past problems, which

I realized that I wasn’t a Diligent Problem Solver on a Friday during Young

Writer’s Club meeting. During the meeting, two members of the club argued about

something completely and utterly unimportant and unrelated to the club. They argued for an

hour. Meanwhile, I panicked and look at the other members of the club wondering what to

do next. In the end, another member of the club managed to make them stop, I told them

that this couldn’t happen again, and we left for home. However, I felt that I wasted an hour
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of everybody’s time on something that could have been solved in two minutes, and when I

got home I thought of a thousand and one better ways to handle the situation.

Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble, and his word is as good as

gold. I got accepted to two colleges that I applied to in the United States, but my parents

couldn’t afford it. So, I stood there, in my second semester as a senior in high school, with

nowhere to go after graduation and no idea what to do with my life. Meanwhile, my

classmates knew exactly what they were going to do, and, as people often to do with

someone my age, they asked me, “What are you going to study?” Nevertheless, I decided

that I wouldn’t stand there panicking like in the Young Writer’s Club. I would solve the

problem.

writing-based major, in a college in the Dominican Republic, preferably in Santiago,

because that’s where my mother’s family lives. I had two main choices of action. On one

hand, I could study Secondary Literature Education in Pontificia Universidad Católica

Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). On the other hand,I could study Journalism in Universidad

Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). Researching the two majors and the two colleges, I

weighed the advantages and disadvantages of each. I also researched testimonies of people

who studied those careers to see what each was like and what kind of person would enjoy

and be effective in that career. Having done my background research, I was ready to move

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After researching all my options I presented it to my family and my mentor. I

asked for their opinion and advice. Respectfully, Ivelisse Malavé, my mentor told me that

my skills and personality probably wouldn’t fit with a teaching major. She advised me to

pray, fast, and present my options to the Lord, so he would guide my way in the decision

making the process. So, that’s what I did. Ubaldina Cruz, my mother, suggested that

studying journalism would be a better career for me than teaching. By asking for help from

my family and mentor, I got ideas about what I could do after I graduated high school.

Using my creativity, I considered alternative solutions. Some of my classmates

were going to take a gap year after graduating. To me, it seemed like a waste of time. I

thought that if I took a gap year I would lose momentum and become lazy. However, when

thinking about it, I thought it was actually a good idea. It would be a time to explore my

talents, work on personal projects and save money. My parents concurred with the

suggestion. Therefore, when I graduate high school I’ll take a gap semester, and begin

college in January.

If one year ago somebody told me I would take a gap semester and major in either

Journalism or Secondary Teaching in the Dominican Republic, I would not have believed

it. I was very stubborn and fixated on one solution and one a path for my future. In any

case, in the course of the year, I’ve learned to be flexible and open to new solutions. When

deciding the next step in my life, I investigated, asked questions, and I took the wisdom of

others to arrive at a better solution. I came up with a solution that is logical, wise, and, most

important of all, it pleases God.

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My goal was to handle a problem in a different way than in the past. I determined

all my possibilities and asked for feedback from wise people. Subsequently, I used that

information to come up with a solution. I admit that at times it was frustrating to see my

classmates so sure about what they wanted to do, but God helped me to trust him and

develop patience and critical thinking. Through this experience in major and college

selection, I grew as a Diligent Problem Solver and hopefully will continue to improve in