For many of us, a new year is... well it’s just a new year.
But for Mariota Uta, from the village of Siumu, the New Year brings forth a new journey for him. Just like many graduating primary school children, Mariota will be starting up a new school and with it comes nerves and excitement.
Aged 14, the young lad explains how there will be so many new things coming his way in 2017 but his priority will always be to do well in school.
“Right now I am just trying to focus on my schooling,” Mariota told the Village Voice.
“When the New Year comes, I will most probably be going to Leulumoega Fou College. The reason I have made school my priority is because I know the many benefits that will come from it.
“When done right, education opens many doors from me and that’s where the blessings will come from.”
Mariota feels both excited and happy to be able to move on with his education.
“I just finished off my primary education this year in my village Siumu and I am excited to start a new journey,” he said.
“The only thing on my mind is the new school I will be attending and how I will be able to cope. But right now, this break that we are having from school is good because it has provided me with much needed rest.
“I am just excited to start up again and I don’t know how else to describe the joy I am feeling.”
The young man also explains how there will be a different way in which things will be done with his new journey; one such thing would be transportation.
“One of the differences with my new school next year is how to get there,” Mariota said.
“I have grown so used to walking to and from school but now I will have to take the bus everyday and that’s an adventure in itself.
“The only problem is that my parents will have to spend quite a bit of money for me to go by bus but I will try my best to save as much of their money as possible so that things will be a bit easier for my parents.”
And even with his dream of being a rugby player still dangling about, Mariota says that with what his parents are spending for his education, his dreams will have to be put on hold.
“For me, I know that my parents are already spending a lot of money on me so I will make the most of it,” he said.
“I will do my best in school and try to do my school work to the best of my ability so the money my parents spend won’t go in vain. “I will do my best in school and also try to achieve my dream of playing rugby when I get older. But like I said before, priority is my schooling, even above my dreams of playing rugby.
“I can always train and become a famous rugby player but right now I have to focus on building up my mind and finding knowledge.
“School comes first, rugby comes second.”