It's All About the Attitude

October 5, 2011
By sirkkamiller BRONZE, San Francisco, California
sirkkamiller BRONZE, San Francisco, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live a day without you"

I am not an ordinary person, or so I’ve been told. I am more hyper and happy than any teenager in their right mind should be. I get along with my parents, I love my three little sisters and I love school. However, just like I think I’m funnier than I am, I think I am smarter than I actually am. That explains how I got myself into this mess of two AP’s and two Honors courses, plus precalculus and ethics during the most important year of my high school career. Needless to say, I’m stressing out.

I’ve always been good at school without trying, well somewhat good, not outstanding, around the 3.5 area. However, I had been looking at colleges and I realized that a 3.5 will most definitely not get me into my choice college. To make up for this flaw in my transcript I thought I would take really hard classes and ace them all... yeah, that choice wasn’t working out in my favor. I found myself getting angry at my mother and taking it out on my sisters when I was really only angry at myself. I didn’t understand how some people can juggle all AP’s so effortlessly. It was a real blow to my self-confidence when I looked at my grades on “Powerschool” and saw that the highest one is a 88 % . Granted it was still near the beginning of the school year and I had time to fix it, and that is what I kept telling myself to avoid bursting out in tears. That year was harder than I ever thought it would be. I tried to step up my game and I studied really hard for my Honors French chapter test, but I only managed a C. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

I felt like my life was spiraling out of control, when actually, it was just my grades. Each and every one of my classes needed my undivided attention, and with only 24 hours in the day and already a large portion devoted to sleep I couldn’t satisfy all of their needs. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel above average, I actually felt dumb. I could feel myself turning into a C student. The overachiever in my heart and mind stopped me in my tracks. I realized that in this modern day and age the computer felt like a necessary companion to homework, when really, why did I need my computer for math? I turned it off, and even better I deactivated my facebook, formspring and tumblr pages which were unnecessary to success in school, let alone life. I realized that if I spent my time getting distracted I was never going to succeed. That night I studied for my AP United States History (or “APUSH” as we like to call it) test for two hours. I drank tea and exercised before bed, which I got in early. Without the computer I felt like I had rid myself of a parasite that was sucking my mind and my time away from the things that I needed to do. I had found my drive. I realized that I could do this. It was a matter of determination and I had that. It was all about the time that you put into learning something, I simply had been taking the easy route.

The next day I was sitting in my APUSH class, reviewing my notes, giving myself an internal pep talk when my teacher Mr. Sansoe passed out the test. The kid in front of me had been absent for the review and so he was not taking the test that day, and he had his textbook open. Mr. Sansoe asked him to step outside and he left the book open on his desk. He never came back and the book was not closed, Mr. Sansoe either didn’t notice or chose not to say anything. So there I was with an open book lying in front of me, just beyond the test that I desperately needed an A on. Without any real debate in my head I reached forward and closed the book, I could do this myself, I thought. Mr. Sansoe saw that I closed it and he smiled and nodded, I felt proud of myself, even though I could have gotten a better grade on the test, it wouldn’t have been honest. I could do it by myself.

This moment in my academic career really defined my attitude. I realize that I am absolutely not dumb, I can achieve anything that I want to in life with the right attitude. It is all about being honest with yourself, realizing what makes you happy, and going after it. Personally, what makes me happy and proud is academic success and now, a week after the incident with the book, I have an A in AP United States History.

The author's comments:
I am a current high school junior, and I recently realized that life really is about making lemonade.

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