All the Small Things

Alexander - Andover, Massachusetts
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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 in small things that get you through the day I believe in small things that get you through the day. I make it through first block math. I make it through a full hour and a half of physics. I make it through sprints at soccer practice. Then I get home, do my homework, go to bed, and prepare to do it all over again the next day. I don’t think I could make it if I didn’t take some time to myself every once in a while. It doesn’t have to be anything too spectacular. I sometimes find myself sitting in a class working for that special time at the end of the day where I can just relax. Without this I don’t think I could handle the pressure of trying to keep my grades up while dealing with homework, and working on my college application.

My dad has always been a hard worker. Everything he has achieved, he has earned. One day I asked my dad his secret and he told me that you always need something that you give yourself as a reward. He told me that he believed in the power of small things. He simply works hard allowing himself a small reward. He uses this philosophy, not only to get him through the day but also to start it. For him, a small thing is grinding coffee beans in the morning and smelling the aroma, before drinking his coffee from a special cup, finding a new place in the house to read a book, or spending a little time watching the TV with a nice cold beer. This makes him not only work harder, but at the end of the day it relieves lots of stress.

When I was in middle school, I would wake up at seven thirty, and come home at around three in the afternoon. I would come home, do my homework, and then the rest of my day was free. I used to laugh at my dad’s personal philosophy. I though it was strange that someone could be stressed by a long day. One day when I was younger, my dad came home from work he said he had had a long day; to this I replied that my day had been just as long as his had. I would soon understand what my dad was talking about.

I found the transition from middle school to high school pretty difficult. I go to a private high school in Groton MA called Lawrence Academy. I live forty five minutes away from school and I am a day student. So instead of waking up at seven, like I used to for middle school, I now have to wake up at six. Also, at Lawrence Academy it is mandatory that every student do a sport. Sports meet every day after school. I have always done sports even from a young age, but getting home at seven o’clock every night was a big change for me. I would get home exhausted, only to find out that I had another three hours of homework. I wasn’t able to handle it. My grades started sliding, and I was getting really stressed. I looked to my dad’s advice and started thinking of ways to apply it. I would get myself out of bed by telling myself that once I took my shower, I would give myself ten more minuets in bed. This made waking up at six much more manageable. While doing homework, I would tell myself that once I finished the assignment I was working on, I would go downstairs and get a quick drink or snack. After this, I have a newly found energy to complete my assignments. My dad has passed on his personal philosophy, and now I have adopted it. I believe that small things can get you through the day.