All It Takes Is a Little Effort

Robert - South Jordan, Utah
Entered on May 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that you can’t just wait around for your life to get better; you have to take the initiative to improve it.

Most of this past year, I’ve been living life quite unproductively: not giving a damn about my education, breaking more than a few laws, and wasting taxpayer money. I’m not quite sure when, but sometime this year I acquired a new view on life. For some reason everything started to seem less important to me, especially school. This went on for quite a while. I couldn’t find the drive to start my homework, much less to finish it.

Eventually I realized there was a problem, but still I made no effort to better the situation. It took lots of nagging by parents, other relatives, and school counselors before I finally decided to take action.

Needless to say, my entire semester of almost pure truancy left me more than a few credits shy of graduating from Jordan High School, and I almost decided to just give up and get my G.E.D., but I quickly got this foolish idea out of my head, fortunately for me.

My initial plan was just to stay at Jordan and make the credits up through packets, night school, and online classes, but after learning the cost of all my packets would exceed three-hundred dollars in total (an amount I couldn’t come close to affording at the time), I decided that a different solution was needed.

Earlier that year, I had a few friends that left Jordan to go to Valley High School, due to similar circumstances as mine. I decided to ask my counselor about the school, even though I was nearly certain my parents would never let me attend an alternative high school.

During this meeting with my counselor, I discovered that I would be able to graduate from valley on time, without having to do nearly as many packets. This was because I could take more than one of the same class at a time, which was a great benefit to me, because the majority of the credits I needed to make up were spread through just a few different subjects. This was also much cheaper than just doing packets and night school. So, armed with my new plan for graduation, I went home prepared to argue with my parents for quite some time.

Eventually, after about two weeks of persuasion, they decided to let me choose my own path. This was great for me, because I believe that no matter how much help you may receive from outside sources, it is ultimately up to you to better your circumstances.