It Does Matter

Ariel - Wheeling, West Virginia
Entered on April 4, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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While thirteen eighth-grade girls pumped their arms to finish their last lap during the Presidential Fitness exam, two students strolled down the track. I remember only a few hours before, my mom advising me that no matter what I had to try my hardest. As a teacher at my school, she overheard two students reminding each other that would slowly run the mile– “because it’s not like it mattered.” Consequently my mom kindly demanded that I never adopt the same attitude as these students. Appeasing her, I ensured my mom that I never intended to walk the mile. At the time I was a thirteen year old avoiding a lecture from my mom. Now I am a seventeen year old anticipating college, embracing the philosophy that we are told to try our hardest because everything does matter.

It is understandable to tell yourself not to panic about your failed Latin test or pop-quiz in History, because these simple grades won’t matter. However, when does not stressing out about a small quiz evolve into not caring about high-school or college? Though 2009 brings the largest number of students graduating from high-school many of these kids appear apathetic. Students amble through the hallways, conveniently forget their calculus books in their lockers, and disregard their reading assignments. Their excuse: I’ve already been accepted into college, so why does it matter? I don’t blame the students, because I also suffer from a degree of “senioritis.” The only difference is, to me, it matters.

I will admit that I sometimes overemphasize the simplest details. I’ll strive for a perfect on every psychology test, or agonize over a missed economics question. But I insist that I’d rather care too much than not care at all. Some people claim that what they accomplish in high-school doesn’t affect their future success. They look past the treacherous seven hours, five days a week, and realize that college is all that matters. Others “settle” when they make their college decision, because they feel that only graduate school matters; professionals don’t care about what you achieved in high-school or college, only that in graduate school. Though sometimes true, I see high-school and college differently. For me, high-school and college are steps to future success. Fail to sprint across the steps, and you fail to be your best. You can simply walk across the steps, but you will not feel as accomplished as someone who tried their hardest their entire life. So when someone assures me not to worry because “it doesn’t count,” I take it with a grain of salt. I disagree with people who always tell me not to worry because it doesn’t matter. Because it does.