17 years and nothing?

March 7, 2009
By Phuong Ngo BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
Phuong Ngo BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
2 articles 1 photo 0 comments

17 years old, I haven't done nothing yet. I haven't obtained any special achievements of which my parents could be proud. I haven't showed off any talents which could make my friends surprised. 17 years old, I'm still a merely normal junior high school students.

17 years old. I have lived on this life for 17 years. Whenever I read in the newspaper, in the Internet, or watch on TV, about teenagers who won gold medals in International Olympiad, or who received Harvard's full financial aid package, I thought about myself, and again I thought about my 17-year life. Who said that everyone on Earth was born in equality? No, I swear. I couldn't compose music like my classmate. I couldn't speak five languages fluently like my cousin; I couldn't even get above 110 in TOEFL IBT test like he did at the age of mine now. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't.

I kept thinking about this for long time. And one day, I wrote in my Yahoo! Blog:
'What have I done for 17 years? Nothing, right?'
It was the shortest entry I've posted on. I wrote it just as a way to say my thoughts out loud, because people always said every pain would be alleviated if not kept alone. Unexpectedly, I received comments.

'No one but you listened to me when I had family problems. No one but you encouraged me when my stepmother hit me because of 'zero' mark. No one but you lend me your shoulder to cry on. If you are looking for things that no other people can do, I did show you. If those are things other people but you can do, those are your talents. Believe me. Having such kinds of behaviors is also a kind of talent', my childhood friend wrote.

'You ranked 1st in class seven times, guy. How can you lie yourself that you achieved nothing? If that, the lines in achievement list of one who ranked 10th like me must be a negative number' was from one of my classmate.

'Having been born in life was a great achievement. And you lived 17 years, which is a achievement, too. You don't know, but you already had 2 greatest ones on Earth' was signed as an anonymous.

After reading them, I again scrutinized my 17-year life.

10 years old, I was voted to be class monitor.
11 years old, I got 1st prize in a province competition.
15 years old, I got 3rd prize in a national competition.
16 years old, I was admitted to one of famous high schools for the gifted in my country. Although wasn't chosen to participate in Olympiads, I was often on honor roll.
I was born into life healthily. I have parents who are not rich, but always provide me with every opportunity for my further study. I have many friends who are always ready to come to me when I'm sad. I have 17 years of happiness without worry about life like street children.

Yes. How could I said that I have done nothing? I did achieve several things. But instead of being proud of and continuing to obtain further targets, I kept thinking negatively.
Of course my national award can't be compared with IMO winners' ones, my contribution to local magazine was nearly nothing to international writing contest's first prize. But from now on, I won't compare myself with them to be sad, I would make them as my sample target to try my best on.

Guys, even if your first 17 years wasn't filled with any special achievements, don't be sad and take your foot forward. You would have something nice waiting for you, somewhere in life, maybe in the first day of your 18th year.
Gook luck!

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