Knowledge IS Power

Rachel - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I grew up in a house where my mother always told me that I had to study hard. Sitting at my oversized desk, constantly studying—math, history, science, and English—day after day, week after week, I studied. At first I found it to be an annoying duty but it’s now grown to be a habit.

I am sixteen years old and a junior in high school. I am taking three AP courses and have done well in all of my classes. My intention is to always to strive for the academic achievement that brings about a sense of pride. It is hard for me to understand why students are making the conscious choice not to take harder courses. Many of my friends who make that decision not to take any AP or honors courses often call me stupid for working so hard rather than getting an easy E in any course. I am often left speechless…how can I even waste my breath responding to this type of question? Don’t get me wrong—it is not completely the student’s fault. Often teachers won’t allow students to take AP courses because teachers feel that the students cannot handle them—but aren’t teachers supposed to push us to reach our potential? I think it’s apparent that most teachers just don’t care anymore—it seems as though once they get their paycheck their job is complete.

When I was taking a course to prepare for the SAT, a teacher came in and began discussing colleges and high school grades. Appallingly, he prescribed that students should be taking easy classes in order to achieve an ‘E’ because this is what matters most. Whatever happened to the desire to learn, the need to study, and the importance of knowledge? It seems to have all faded away.

I believe that striving to achieve your full potential is as vital as drinking water—if each is lacking it will result in dehydration. Just like the body, the mind needs to constantly be replenished by this vital nutrient called knowledge. If the body lacks the necessary nutrients for survival such as water, it cannot and will not function; the same concept applies to the mind, if it lacks knowledge it is unable to function. It is necessary that we all look to take harder courses beyond what you expect yourself to be capable of. I believe it is vital for individuals to strive to make a difference in society, and the key to opening this door to make a difference is knowledge. Just as the old, often unappreciated saying goes, Knowledge is power.