This I Believe

Christine - Katy, Texas
Entered on February 28, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“This I Believe”

My heart began to race faster. Today was the day, the day of my final, and the hour had now come. I hadn’t slept five minutes last night. How could I have slept? I had to do everything I could. At this point, my life depended on it. I looked a mess, but that was the last thing on my mind. In my running shorts and t-shirt, my hair thrown into a holder, I was on the verge of panic. I frantically tried to calm myself. I couldn’t lose my mind now. There was too much at stake.

Backtrack seventy- two hours. It was the last week of school: finals’ week. This week was always the peak of my stress before, but this semester seemed to be triple the usual amount. I had just received my last Biology test for the six weeks. The red two digit number scribbled at the top flashed a big red “DANGER”. Not good. I couldn’t believe it. This grade was the fruitless result I had received after many sleepless and stressful nights of studying. Why weren’t my efforts good enough anymore? Until now, my grades had been perfect. My whole academic career had been spotless, filled with gleaming straight “A’s”; my efforts had paid off. Until now. Now, the last six week period of my freshman year in high school, I was in danger of getting a “B”, not only for the six weeks, but for the semester– something that would ruin my GPA. I couldn’t get a “B”. Not now or ever. To me, it was like failing. Getting “perfect” grades all through high school and graduating as a valedictorian had been the basic structure for my future. Right now, the foundation was shaking, leaving all of my plans, aspirations, and everything that I had built up, in danger of crashing to the ground right in front of my pained eyes.

The days that ensued the moment I saw my semester average were a blur of denial, begging, and self- hate, laced in with the occasional numbness. But mostly, they were filled with regret. I spent countless, sleepless nights, tossing and turning, kicking myself, blaming myself, regretting everything. Why had I switched into GT Biology? Why couldn’t I concentrate harder? Why didn’t I go for help? Why was I the only one that failed? Everybody I knew seemed to have escaped freshman year unscathed. They still had a chance, the chance that I felt I no longer had.

Until now, I had believed that I could do everything on my own, that through my own power I would become successful. However, it doesn’t always work that way. I should have gone into my teacher to get help instead of stubbornly believing that I could do it on my own. I believe that all humans, no matter how strong or smart or talented, all need some kind of assistance along the way. This doesn’t make us weak, just human. This I believe.