The True American Climb There is a difference between an intelligent or knowledgeable student and a “smart” student. Perseverance. I am the “smart” student. It’s a Thursday night and the teacher assigned a four page problem set in an AP Physics class. Two students set off to work on their problems. One finishes within two hours—skipping over the questions they couldn’t understand. I am the “smart” student. The one who spends two hours on one question…the one who will work continuously struggling to find the answer. I am the one not worried about what’s going on later that night until the solution is found. I once had a dream. A dream of a climb. With each step, a new level of wisdom was achieved. When climbing this mountain, I had no idea what each step would bring. There were two possibilities: success or struggle. In this dream, with each step, thoughts raced through the brain, wondering if I was going to fall. Sweat dripped down my face, as I wondered whether or not to push through the pressure and decisions. I take the step. My weight gave out…I’m fell down the mountain, not knowing whether or not survival was possible. The point of decision was reached. As I would in the real life, I survived the knockout blow, and pushed through the only thing stopping me: Myself. Perseverance. How far will I push to get to my goal? How much pain and struggle will I push through to obtain what I desired? It’s not who I say I am that defines me—but my actions which prove it. Perseverance. The actions that define me. The actions that prove I am willing to take that one step without the fear of falling. Because when you fall… there is always a way to climb your way back up the mountain.