Before college, every high school student enters a period of self-reflection. A variety of occurrences prompts this, often ranging from passing an open college book to a college-counseling meeting anywhere from ninth to twelfth grade. Those students who silently thought about forming a college application for the past three years were the luckiest students alive. Those kids studied twenty extra minutes a night, spent study hall time meeting with a teacher, or actively participated in the student body at their respective schools. They have cracked the proverbial code to college applications; they know that with effort comes great success. Then, there are the students who have been content with their slow but steady progress. These students do not put forth unnecessary energy because they will receive decent grades either way. Retrospect leads me to identify abashedly with the latter. For the past three years, I was always pleased with my grades. I was the strong B-average student who formed exceptional relationships with teachers not because I had to, but because it came with my second -nature energetic personality. My report card reported what my parents and I knew to be true; I performed decently by putting forth slightly above average effort. It was not until last Tuesday, the first week of senior year, that I unassumingly entered the world of self-reflection. It took me by storm, and consumed my thoughts. I fell victim to self-doubt. I asked myself many questions following the initial viewing of my high school transcript. Why did I not try harder in this class?Ó quickly became the favorite. If you had asked me this time last month what my grade point average was, I would have quickly replied, Something near 3.4 I assumeÓ and been about my day. Staring at the words 3.095 were both piercing and staggering. My jaw dropped, and I searched for the nearest person to blame. That is when I realized that it was I who had failed myself. No teachers had done me injustice. They had simply rewarded me with the grade that I deserved. On that fateful afternoon, as I looked at my peers, I noticed that many were genuinely thankful with what their piece of paper read. These students are the aforementioned ones that devoted their high school careers to pushing themselves farther, always in reach of a goal. I respect these students, but I do not envy them. I learned immensely from my experience in high school. I am the student who most greatly values my mistakes. Now that I am about to embark upon my fourth and final year of Greenhill School, I cannot help but anticipate what the year has in store. My first real test is tomorrow, and for the first time, I am going to arrive truly prepared. I have read the book, taken notes, and spent time genuinely studying. I do not anticipate coming away from this class with a B, as I have so many of my others. Today I believe that I have learned the value of hard work. It does not come easily, but it does come. Those who want success the most are the ones who achieve it, and for the first time in my life I have departed from a self reflection process genuinely satisfied with what I found to be true. At the least I anticipate a well-earned grade on this AP Spanish test I am about to embark upon, manana.
What I know to be true
September 1, 2007