This I Believe

Nicole - Houston, Texas
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Starting at the bottom is the only way to the top

I believe starting at the bottom is the only way to get to the top. To be a lawyer or doctor you have to go through years and years of school. It makes sense for you to learn simple material before you have to learn complicated information needed to treat a patient or represent a client. Without the school, you won’t know what you’re doing or how to do it. Sometimes the highway of life gets bumpy, but it will smooth out eventually. If you believe starting small is the only way to get to the big picture, then your drive to the top of the mountain will flow as if you were sailing in calm water.

I like to look back to when I was in seventh grade and I never really understood math. Now, it is my best subject and the one thing I can always excel in. I started small, with simple math equations that never really clicked in my mind. I always asked for help and was never able to make an A for the six weeks. I struggled in math that year and previous years as well. Do you know how it feels to be in a darkroom when the electricity goes off and you only have one small flashlight? That’s how I felt about math, pretty helpless. When I was in the eighth grade, I had an excellent teacher who made difficult problems seem like a piece of cake. She was the positive or negative sign on the answer to a math problem, the cherry on top of the sundae, and the icing on the cake. This middle school teacher encouraged me to strive for the A and believed in me every day on the way there. The battery in that section of my mind finally kicked in and has yet to wear out. Since I have experienced this and been in this position before, I hope you will take my advice and know that starting at the beginning is always the best route.

It finally made perfect sense to me and I realized all the learning throughout the years had finally paid off. If schools started teaching math in eighth grade, then think how far behind I would be. I probably wouldn’t understand it for another eight years, and by then you would think I would be in college. If I had started my education in college or graduate school rather than in elementary school, then I would most likely have absolutely no idea what to do.

Yes, being at the top is great. Whether it’s the top of your class, your business, or a pyramid in cheerleading, the only way to get there is by starting at the beginning. Go ahead and try to get a job without a high school or college diploma, but I promise you there will always be a detour sign pointing you back to start.