This I Believe

Jonathan - Kent, Washington
Entered on April 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I have maintained a 4.0 GPA since the 7th grade, the first year letter grades were introduced to me. I have received President’s Education Awards from every school I have graduated from. I have also been in honor roll and honors programs ever since I can remember. Some have called me the perfect student, but I don’t believe in the term perfection. I believe in hard work. Simply put, hard work is the key to the future, and it has definitely changed mine.

I use to be a perfectionist, but that only led me down a path I did not want to travel. I was stressed, nervous, and exhausted. Sure school was important and I’m not telling you its not, but stressing over school and striving towards perfection is ludicrous. Now, I just try to do my best in everything I do. I am proud of what I do so long as I tried my best.

This enlightenment concerning “perfection” occurred to me as I was staying up one night; putting the final touches on my freshmen project in high school. Even after I felt I had done all I possibly could and went to bed; I was back within twenty minutes rereading the paper. I tried multiple times to go to sleep that night, but only woke up in cold sweats. I continued to tweak the paper and reach for the unreachable goal called perfection. I felt the burn of the artificial lights on my eyes and the bitter taste of black coffee lingering in my mouth. Every cell in my body screamed, yelled, fought, and tried to force me to sleep. Even after this ordeal, I chewed my nails and watched as the days dragged on. Finally, when the projects were returned I receieved an A, but it wasn’t worth the toll my body had paid. I saw that day that an A is still any A, no matter how different the levels of work were. Realizing this, I decided to change my work habits.

I was so much happier after my change. I was more relaxed, calm, and laid back. However, due to this change, I was not seeing the grades that I was use to. My grades had taken a dive and I struggled to get them back up. My mistake was being too relaxed. Keeping this in mind, I knew I needed to find a healthy medium for myself. From that point, I had morphed from a perfectionist to a slacker and switched back many times before I found my path. After several attempts, I had found my healthy balance of work, my ideal work ethic.

Perfection is an impossible goal that will never be reached, and laziness will get you nowhere. If you wish to succeed at something you will have to go through failures, and try new things. The only thing that matters in the end is the amount of effort you put into whatever you do. Hard work will get you everything you hope and want for, this I believe.