A Drive to Succeed

Mary - Westborough, Massachusetts
Entered on March 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe motivation, hard work, and dedication will take me to the top.

When I flashback to my first day of school, I recall my kindergarten teacher saying, “I hope you will all work hard and do your best in class.” I hoped so too. My mother was very strict about grades and even though I was just beginning school, I wanted to make her proud.

I just did what I was told and put my best effort into my work. My first report card came back with straight A’s. I was overjoyed, and my mother was amazed. Her approving smile filled me with the incredible sense of satisfaction one discovers upon accomplishing a great task.

Throughout the school years, I kept working just as hard. When the expectations rose, I just worked harder. I can’t recall how many times I’ve stayed up late to finish a project, stayed after-school or asked for teacher-help on homework, but to see an A on my report card makes it all worth while. School doesn’t just teach me science or math; it teaches me the value of hard work and where it can take me. I truly understand the saying “hard work pays off”.

Unlike most students, I don’t strive to achieve good grades because I feel I have to, it’s because I want to. I think it’s somewhat vital that I have the strong will and dedication to work hard, or else, what’s the point? When I sat down to contemplate what really propels me to work so hard, only two popped up in my mind, my incredible craving for success and my mother.

When I discovered that wonderful feeling of accomplishment in kindergarten, I never stopped working for it, to put it frankly, I wanted that feeling. I was born success-driven. Accomplishments, even the smallest ones, bring me a great deal of satisfaction. I enjoy having great pride in what I’ve done. I feel so content when I can stand back to look at a finished assignment or piece of work and know that I created it and it’s my best work. I’m never satisfied with anything unless I did my very best, to me that is perfection.

As for my mom, I think working hard in school is one of the best ways I show some gratitude for all she’s done raising me. My mother is very hard-working woman. I feel she deserves so much yet she doesn’t receive much. She taught me the very nature of discipline and hard work. When the time of year passes by Christmas or her birthday, I wish to get her a gift, but she just says, “All I want is a good girl who gets good grades.” So when I get A’s on my report cards, I feel like I’m paying back my mom little by little. I want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she didn’t waste much raising me. When she’s proud, I’m proud.

Sometimes my friends tease me or compare with me, maybe even secretly hate me for my excellent grades, telling me how I’m such a “genius”. But terms such as “genius” mean little to me. Words like “prodigy” puzzle me. I only believe in the genius of discipline and devoting myself to working hard. Just like practicing an instrument, I practice my learning skills. Like training to play a sport, I train my mind. My grades are like the trophies or medals won in a competition. They hold records of my striving to reach my goal, records that I’m proud of.

I’m just a normal middle-school student, working hard as ever to maintain my grades. I plan on working my way through high school, getting into a good college, and eventually becoming a pharmacist. My personal philosophy of working hard and striving to succeed has held me through many tough school years, no doubt it’ll hold out for my future. I believe if people can apply it to their lives, they can achieve any of their desirable goals. After all, hard work pays off, it really does.