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Contributed by Ethiopis Tadesse

I remember the stage at which I just didn’t want to take money from my family anymore. The mere task of asking for it became more difficult as the years progressed. And so with my new found semi-independent spirit, I had to find a way to make money. And back when I was a first-year university student, I hit the jackpot- tutoring!

Tutoring money is the best money. I used to say that over and over again. I would be assisting high school students in math, science and English studies. I worked on a flexible schedule, with bright students who challenged me and who help keep my knowledge fresh in my mind. And of course, the money was good- as I was tutoring 2 or 3 kids at a time.

But of course, even this experience had its challenges. One major thing is that all the children lived in different neighborhoods-far from each other and even further from my house. The daily commute-after class-to the different locations was something I never quite got used to. There would be nights where I had to help one of my tutees revise for his/her exam then go home and stay late studying for my own. Their houses would be in residential areas and so I would have to walk long distances to get transportation home. Some nights it would be raining, or cold – and my spirits would get really low and I would start to get emotional and question why I had to do this.

The ‘why’ would always be answered in situations when I needed something – and I had the money to buy that thing. It was simple- I had money of my own. The money I had earned. And I had the power to decide what to do with it. Then all the late nights, exhaustion and doubt- all of it made sense. The level of independence I had gained required me to pay my dues. Required me to be disciplined and consistent. And from it, I had learned so much. I learned what it means to identify a shortage and work towards finding a solution. How to create a balance in life-as I still maintained a very high GPA in my own studies. How people younger than us can have so much to teach us. And the value of hard earned money. So ladies and gentlemen, in moments when life requires you to pay your dues, just remember that- chances are- the outcome will be fabulous!

Views reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect that of HABTAM.

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