This I Believe

Rachelle - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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“You need to work hard in life to get where you want. Work can go a long way.” said my mother often throughout my childhood. Those words were never important to me as a child. Who sees it as a necessity to work? Everyone wants the easy life, no work. Circumstances and events in my life have led me to believe that you really do need to work your butt off to get anywhere in this world. This I believe.

As a child, life was easy. You just sit around, eat, sleep, play, and maybe some homework, and you’re fine. But as I grew up, I realized that there is more to life than just play. As the years went by, everything got harder. School was harder, and life was harder. The more difficult it became, the harder I had to work. But my work always had minimal effort, always just about enough to scrape by.

The true test of this life philosophy came in my seventh and eighth grade years in junior high. Everything had been going fine, until it was time to select what high school I wanted to go to. It was blatantly obvious that my parents wanted me to go to Northside College Prep, and I wanted to go there also. But going there meant working my butt off the whole seventh grade year to get perfect scores and perfect grades to get in, because nearly everyone in Chicago knew that it was the number one high school in the state.

Everyday of my whole seventh grade life, I worked and worked to get those perfect grades that were good enough to get me in, even going to school sick if I had to. All the hard work paid off, because I got all A’s and amazing scores for the standardized tests. But that was only part of the way to getting in. I still needed to take the placement test, which would determine my fate.

Throughout the first semester of eighth grade, my free time was spent studying and practicing for the test everyday. The time came to see if all my hard work had really paid off. That test was one of the most nerve wracking tests of my life. When I was finished, I laughed at how all of this work I have been doing was all for one test, a bunch of pieces of papers, and how this test could possibly change my life.

Our letters came in the mail a few months later, and lo and behold, I was accepted. I actually was accepted to Northside Prep. “Wow.” was all that could escape my mouth as I stared open-mouthed at that paper.

So what my mother had been telling me all these years was actually true; you need to work to get where you want. I laughed at how stupid I was to have never listened to her when I was younger. Work still gets me a long way. Why, if I still didn’t work, I would be kicked out of the school I worked to get into. How ironic. One day, I know it will get me to where I want to be in life.