Yong - Steelville, Missouri
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

So as I was thinking about this speech, thinking about what to say. I struggled with it. I honestly did not know what my core beliefs were. So I looked at myself in the mirror, looked inside myself to see what made up my character, examined my past. I did this for three nights straight, and I came to the realization that my belief is to be successful in anything I do, to do the best that I can, and always strive to do better.

And, as I thought about it more, I wasn’t always like this. During elementary all the way to the 6th grade, I had D’s, a few F’s, and the occasional rare C’s. I wasn’t stupid or anything, I simply didn’t care. To me, school was a boring place in which I was forced to go to. I only did the bare minimum to pass every grade level. All I cared about then was going home and playing my video games, going outside to play with friends, and chasing girls with cockroaches.

But, one day, near the end of my 6th grade year, my older brother approached me, took me aside and told me in a firm voice that “you will amount to nothing in life; a bum, a beggar in the streets if your grades continued the way they are, and if you’re satisfied with that, then so be it.” After saying that, he turns and walks away.

I found myself angry. Angry at him, angry at myself, but most of all, I felt unsatisfied. I knew I could do better, I knew I could make straight A’s.

In the following years, I did the best that I could, and if it wasn’t enough, I strove to do better. In the end, I succeeded in getting good grades thereafter. Achieved Principles honor roll, and during my senior year, I took all Advanced AP courses.

I learned a valuable lesson that day without even knowing about it then. Only now, as I look back, have I come to this realization; trying, no matter how much you hate it, no matter how boring it is, no matter how annoying something becomes, if you don’t stand back up to try again and again until you succeed at whatever you do, there is no satisfaction. There is no feeling of accomplishment. There is only regret.