This I Believe

leah - dublin, California
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I believe that everyone has the opportunity to be successful to a certain extent. If someone tells you that you can’t make it no matter what you do, that’s a lie. If you believe them, and live the rest of your life below your potential, it’s your fault.

I grew up in a house where being successful was always expected of me. Getting B’s was disappointing and frowned upon but A’s only received a pat on the back. I grew into my teens and went through a “rebellious” stage at the end of middle school and the start of my high school career. I’ve always been relatively sheltered by my parents and that so-called rebellion involved slacking off in school; that was the best I could come up with. By doing the least amount of work, I was able to get by on smarts and for me slacking meant B’s and C’s.

While trying to go against what my parents wanted of me, I lost sight of what I really wanted for my future: to go to college. All I could hear was my parents telling me that my grades would ruin the rest of my life. All I could see was the plans I had for the next weekend; the rest of my future was a fog. This went on for some time; my rebellious stage lasted for quite a while.

Because I had grown up as a “good girl”, it was my nature to be surprised when the report cards came and I just barely made a 3.5. It actually felt good to break out of that shell, the category people put me in. I got the feeling that everyone saw me as someone who feels that they are smarter and therefore better than everyone else. I didn’t want people to think I was cocky so I bragged about not having a 4.0. Then I went home to hear that I was messing up my future; at that rate I would never get to college.

I finally decided that living this way wasn’t fair to me. I was living completely a response to whatever other people thought. I figured that in the end it wouldn’t matter whether people in high school thought I was cocky because I had good grades. It wouldn’t matter what my parents told me if I felt satisfied with my life. I changed my objectives. I no longer cared for resisting the way I was raised, that was all in the past. I did and am still doing my best to make it better, redeem myself for my lost years. All I want is to feel content with my accomplishments when I’m old and I look back on life.

I will never again let someone define my future and influence me to stop trying my hardest and living life to the fullest. If you decide that you want to strive for excellence and improve yourself, if nothing else, you are successful in giving your all. This I believe.