Don’t just

Elizabeth - Raleigh, North Carolina
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: courage, work
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Throughout my sixteen years I have learned that never giving up is one of the most important and rewarding things you can give yourself. My parents have always told me that whatever I do I have to stick with it no matter how bad or how much I don’t like it. I have to finish what I start.

I’m the type of person who likes to try new things and I’m always up for a challenge. There have been many times in my life when I felt bad because I wasn’t the best. There have been times when I’ve felt like I couldn’t do something and that people would laugh at me. However, I have learned that you truly fail at something if you quit and give up. Why would you want to work so hard at something and then give up? One thing I have learned about myself is that I am not a quitter, and therefore I am not a failure. I have also learned that no one is perfect and you have to work hard to get the things you want, like good grades or becoming famous.

I remember when I was in the 7th grade and decided to tryout for cheerleading. I had never cheered before. I had never even tried out for anything. I remember being so nervous and scared that I wasn’t going to be good enough to make the team. Many of the other girls had more experience than I did and I was sure because of my lack of experience that I would not make the team. However, my mom would tell me that unless I changed my attitude I definitely would not make the team. I quickly changed and tried to figure out a way to become better. Because I was having a hard time remembering the dance moves, my mom made a tape of the dance and I practiced all night until I got it right. I made the team but my hard work didn’t stop there as I still had a long way to go. Because this was my first time on the cheerleading squad everything was new to me. Learning dances and cheers seemed to be a whole lot harder to learn for me than it did for the others but I kept practicing and getting better. I am a quiet girl so being loud was not my thing but I never gave up and kept practicing and getting better. At the end of the year I won the award for most improved. I know to some this award may not mean a lot but to me it means that I worked hard and did my best. I never would have felt this way if I had simply given up.

I am now a sophomore in high school and still cheering. I can’t say I’m the greatest cheerleader, but I can say I have improved greatly and I know that practicing has made a difference. The dances and cheers have become a whole lot easier for me to learn. I have learned that when you stick with something and never quit the personal satisfaction you receive is great. This is why I believe in never giving up.