I have grown up in an environment where my teachers and my parents told me that “nothing is impossible”—one of the most frequently cliché that is wrong. Yes, I mean it. In fact, I think it is rather silly to such thing especially to the young, naive children who will believe that they can do everything like I was when I was in kindergarten, elementary, and even in my middle school years. I once believed that I can do everything and that I have no limits like almighty. I had no trouble getting away with just thinking that “nothing is impossible” simply because I had no major issues or challenges that I faced in those years. However, it was during my sophomore year when my life-long belief changed.
I finished my freshmen year with all A’s in all of my honors classes. For me, this was a big accomplishment considering the fact that I just moved to the United States in the beginning of my freshmen year. Okay, I lived in Singapore and went to international school there for a little over one year, but that was it. English was my second language and I had no experience whatsoever with going to the real American school or anything. So, I was pretty proud of myself and that I reminded myself that yes, there is nothing impossible in this world. I even went far and beyond and decided to join the International Baccalaureate (IB) program that is offered in my school—the program that is regarded as the most rigorous and academically challenging program. That was the beginning of my life-changing and life-challenging journey.
From the beginning of my sophomore year, I sensed the intensity and academic rigorousness of the courses that I am taking. Well, honestly, the only difference between the AP program and the IB program in the sophomore year was the social studies class, which the IB students took the AP United States History instead of World History. Nevertheless, not having any background or knowledge of the United States History and having to read approximately 20 pages per day was: stressful. In addition, I was stressed out that I can not read as fast as other friends do, and I was always afraid in my class to get called-on by my teacher because the level of discussion was far beyond my level of English skills. For the first time in my life, I had failing grades in my report card, and being an Asian, that was a shame. Suddenly, I began to think my life as a total failure and questioned where my almighty power and “nothing is impossible” quote that I believed went. Suddenly, I felt I was incompetent and that this dramatic trauma is happening just as in destiny of some sort. I still held on to my belief that nothing is impossible, and never put any sincere efforts because I considered myself as an almighty figure and nothing can stop me from what I am trying to achieve—a total mistake.
As the weeks went on, however, my grades dropped significantly rather than going up significantly. Despite an apparent result, I kept reminding my self for almost a semester that I can do this. I blindly believed in a quote that my teachers, parents, and other people taught me and told me, “nothing is impossible”, and did a little work to fix the problem. As a result, I lost an opportunity to try out for region-band audition that I really longed and practiced for, and gradually, my self-esteem got small and a sense of vanity got bigger.
It was only during my second semester when I actually began to take actions to fix the problem. Even though I tried so desperately to hide my grades from my parents, it was a visible that this isn’t working and that I need to seek some help. Also, I began to take some actions and consequences into my hands rather than pushing it off to some quote that I blindly held on. Soon, my grades got better, and most of the things went back to the place where it belonged to be, except my life-long motto.
Now, I believe that there are limits and that I can not possibly do everything in this world. I can make some changes, but not everything will work out as I have expected. In the end, I learned that acknowledging such limits and putting a genuine effort are more important and crucial than blindly believing in such quote. Now, I question myself, “Nothing is impossible?” Well, the answer is: nothing is impossible if we admit that there are limits to every individual.