The Working Summer

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It was a warm summer day in June when I went back to school at Maine South. It was one of those days that makes you want to stay at home and relax, but I couldn’t. I had signed up for two summer school classes going into sophomore year. At the time, I thought it was a great idea to take two required classes during summer to get them out of the way and hopefully have an easier sophomore year. I was mistaken. On my way to school at 8 AM I asked myself, “Why did I do this?” My summer school day started with Consumer Ed from 8-10, Oral Com from 10-12, basketball camp from 12-2, and football camp from 2-4. This is way too much work during summer, which should be a time to relax. Maybe I should make a change. If I’m going to work for 8 hours straight, I should get a summer job and get paid for it. In a way my school schedule was like a job, with a set schedule, long hours, and boring material. I kept thinking, I should just drop both summer school classes and do them during the year. I had to make a choice to either stick with the difficult schedule or drop the summer school classes. I decided to not change anything and keep the overloaded schedule. Big mistake. I felt exhausted and overworked all the time and some days I didn’t think I would make it. I had to get up early, pay attention for pretty much 4 hours straight, power through basketball camp, and finish with a grueling day at football camp where at least half of the kids threw up or collapsed at least once during the summer. But all that hard work taught me a lesson and helped shape me into the hardworking, dedicated person I am today.


I realized that during my freshman year, I didn’t try very hard at school. I didn’t do homework or study for tests. Looking back, I would describe myself as lazy, and unmotivated. My main concern was how to waste time after school before even thinking about working on homework. My sluggish attitude led to poor grades. My GPA was very low, it hovered around 2.0. I knew something had to change, but I was too complacent to adjust anything. Then summer school started and it probably was one of the hardest things I had to do at that point in my life. It was taxing both physically and mentally. Going to summer school for 4 hours then working out for four hours was very tough, don’t even get me started on the homework every day and the speeches every other day. But I persevered. I rose to the challenge. I decided to change my attitude and work harder at school. I had to do homework everyday or I would fail both classes and I had to give 100 percent at the camps or I wouldn’t play.


Now, as you might have guessed, my public speaking abilities are marginal at best. I really dislike speaking in front of a lot of people. So, Oral Communications was like a nightmare to me. Our whole grade was based on a bunch of speeches. Why not give me the F now? But after getting off to a rough start, I was able to settle in and find my comfort zone. Before the last, and biggest, speech my grade was at an 88 percent. I needed an A on this one. I was prepared. The night before I must have rehearsed for hours. When it was time, I was eager to give the speech. But, somehow, I messed up the order of my note cards and, after being laughed at a little bit and feeling very embarrassed for a time, I started over and gave an unbelievable speech. I received extra credit for wearing a suit and I ended up getting a 104 percent. What a great feeling. I was able to overcome my fears and turn a negative into a positive experience.


By sticking with those classes, I transformed myself into the person I am today. I’m glad I didn’t take a summer job because it wouldn’t have been as beneficial as the summer school classes. I think I made the right decision to stay the course and rise up to the challenge. I feel I matured a lot and learned an important life lesson. Never give up and you can accomplish anything if you try hard enough.





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