Anna - Brooklyn/New York/11235, New York
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Life is nothing but a wonder. It opens our eyes to the astounding beauty and complexity of the world. It offers glorious revelations apparent from the mere sprouting of a fern to the extraordinary formation of love, glory, and honor. Life does not pamper the living; it brings appalling misfortunes that to some become walls too strong to overcome.

My mother once told me, “Only those who attempt, risk, and hold faith truly accomplish their goals in life.” Although I was still young, I knew that these words were significant. Today, they guide me every step of the way.

As a growing young adult, I discover more of life and its principles; with them, I discover myself. At times, the pressure to excel in school, sport, science research and maintain a social life becomes overwhelming. After school, I go to a research lab in SUNY Downstate: a world of endless theories and attempts, monotonous cell-measuring procedures, and discussions of what could be. Leaving the building, darkness greats my eyes exhausted from hours of strain looking through the microscope. Tired, my mind reflects on the work yet to be completed. I come home, eat, and begin my homework. I want to sleep, but must prepare for tomorrow’s test. I read lines, but do not retain the information. My pillow is a tempting sight! A week later, my teacher hands back the tests. An ugly seventy-eight is my score. I studied, I tried; I cannot accept such grades. Maybe, if I didn’t spend so much time at the lab, I would have done better on that test? At the same time, the lab opens a world of true science in my eyes. I am tired.

Sometimes, I question my abilities, especially when things do not turn out the way I plan. I think, “Maybe I am not capable of managing such pressure; how will I ever become a doctor?” At such moments, my mother’s words penetrate my mind. Without struggle and belief in my abilities, success will not enter my world. If I fail, I fail with might. Yet again, failure should never be an option. No matter how hard or how hopeless, I try to maintain a positive outlook on my abilities.

I believe in determination. Without it, I will never be able to overcome the barriers of life. With it, I will stand strong with my beliefs and will attempt and risk because I know that the impossible is one step beyond the difficult. My mother’s words will guide me, and I will achieve my goals.