This I Believe

Kyle - INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana
Entered on May 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever had to write an essay? Or read a book? Or research some topic? Of course you have, and so have I. Usually when I write one of those essays, or read one of those books, or research one of those topics, my teacher sets some sort of “minimum guideline”. “Write at least one page,” “Read at least the first three chapters,” or “Find at least three pages of information.” Whatever the case, I ask myself, “Should I do the minimum, or should I go above and beyond?” Now usually, if I’m doing something I like, I’m going to go above the minimum.

For example, let’s say I’m writing an essay for English class, and my teacher says, “Write at least two pages.” Do I write two pages? No. I probably write three or four. Why? Because I’m going above and beyond. I believe that if you are truly interested in something, that you should enjoy doing it. If I’m writing about something that intrigues me, I find it only natural to write a lot about that topic. Some students feel that they need only do the bare minimum to pass high school, and that is most certainly true. I can earn a grade of “C” in all of my classes throughout high school, and graduate with a grade-point-average of 2.0, and easily get a job at a fast-food restaurant, without going to college, earning a gross pay of $15,000 a year for the rest of my life. Sure! Would I be successful? Certainly. I’d have a job and a high school diploma. But would I be happy? Probably not.

However, if I go above and beyond now, in high school, and graduate high school in the top three percent of my class, go on to college, and get a job paying $100,000 a year, I’m still successful, but to a much greater extent. Instead of living in a one-bedroom apartment for the rest of my life and driving a twenty-year-old car that barely runs, I can afford a bit of luxury: a new house, a new car, and more.

You see if I apply myself now—if I go above and beyond now—I can enjoy a happier life. Sure, there’s a bit more work to be had now in my life. Passing high school and college. But in the long run, when I’m retired, I will look back upon my achievements, and realize how important it is, it was, and it always will be that I went above and beyond in my life.

Wrapping things up, if I do more than the minimum, if I work to my full potential, if I go above and beyond, then later on in life, I will most certainly reap the benefits. Whenever, I’m given the choice, I should always, and will always, go above and beyond. Just as my “childhood hero” Buzz Lightyear said, “To infinity, and beyond!”