I believe in trying

Andrew - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in trying my best.

I knew I had done poorly. Then the day came, the tests came back. I glanced at the paper; it was all I needed to totally lose control inside myself. Rage boiled up, I crumpled the test into a ball, threw it into the trash, and walked out of the class. I was on the verge of tears; it was the first truly awful grade I had received in a long time, a 46/100.

I fear failure, my fear drives my life. Prior to the test the lowest grade I had ever gotten was a74, a “C” by school standards. But in the first ten years of my life, I never had to work, study, or even try for anything. Most things came naturally to me, and those that didn’t, I gave up on without a second thought. Then, at the age of 15, I started my sophomore year of high school. The hardest year of my life. My brother had taken most of the classes I was signed up for, and had even had most of the same teachers. He told me about Mr. E, the teacher of one of the most difficult classes at Walton, AP World History. But I didn’t really listen to him; I assumed that, because Chris was a studier, and I was not, I could get by with minimal effort on my part.

I figured AP World would be no harder than any of the other classes I was taking. That was my mistake. The first weeks went smoothly enough, A’s on most of the assignments, I had already put my brain on autopilot for his class when the first test came around. The results came back, a 46%, I was awakened. Soon after, with grades plummeting to new lows in every class, I realized that this would be the year I started studying, the year I began to try. No more lazy nights in my basement playing video games and watching T.V, no more Saturdays spent relaxing in a chair reading a book; now, every minute of my time mattered, every free minute would have to be devoted to studying and homework.

With one third of the semester gone, it was going to be an uphill battle to get my grades up. The next test came around, I walked out proud. I had brought my score up by fifty percent, all the way to an eighty, still not great, but certainly better. All my grades started to go up, slowly at first, but as I realized how to allocate my time they started to rise faster, and before long I had all A’s.

My life goes on, with countless stories of slacking and failing, and countless more of trying and succeeding. But no matter where I go in life, the lesson I learned in AP World History will never be forgotten. If there is something I want, I’m going to have to work for it.