You Get What You Put In

Jacob - Talbott, Tennessee
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was five years old my parents split up, and I moved in with my mother. My father still got to see my brother and I but it was only every other weekend. Therefore, my mother was the primary factor in my child hood upbringing and has taught me many valuable lessons, one more important to me than others. Later in my life when I got to middle school, my grades started to suffer, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t doing the work, it was because I wasn’t applying myself. When my grade card would come out my mother would be disappointed because she knew I was intelligent but saw my lack of ambition and drive to do well. She always repeated the same phrase to me when I would make excuses about my grades not being up to par. She would say, “ You get what you put in”. I never really understood what she meant at the time, and at that age I really didn’t care. I carried on throughout high school, skimming by and doing the minimum to keep my privileges and do as little work as possible. I got through high school and got my diploma, needless to say, I didn’t retain much of what I was taught. After high school I started college at a local community college and took it the same way as I had high school. I realized that college was the same work principle as high school but there was a lot more freedom. It was the first time in my life that my parents couldn’t call the teachers and ask about my grades or behavior. I had nobody telling me that I needed to come to class, nobody marked me tardy when I was late, most of my teachers didn’t even know my name. When my first grade card came out, I had awful grades, and my parents took my funding for college. I would fuss about it and say, that they didn’t give me enough time to adjust to college study habits. When really all I was doing was avoiding responsibility for my lack of drive. It wasn’t until then that I understood what my mom had been saying all that time, and I translated it to mean if you give a C effort most of the time you cant get better than a C grade. But if you give an A effort you can get an A response. After realizing what the statement meant, I started applying it to most everything that I did. It became apparent to me that when you sincerely try hard at something it can be accomplished and done well. I am not saying that I give every task I am presented with 100%. But when I do badly at something or don’t get the grade or end result I want, I can usually look back and see where I didn’t give that effort. So not only is the saying something that my mother told me, but it is my eliminating factor of the denial of responsibility. By taking responsibility for my actions and their results, if I didnt do well on something, I could not blame it on the teacher or employer, I had to assume that responsibility. When one has full responsibility there is no excuse for failure except lack f will to do well. So now when I am faced with a task I think of as difficult, I remember what mom said, and try to give 100% so maybe I’ll get what I put in.