The life of each person in the world is insignificant considering the massive size of the universe. Each life is less than the size of the grain of sand in proportion to the beginning. Despite this view, taking first place in my fourth grade poetry contest without trying made me realize that there is a reason to make an effort to try.
Being a fourth grader at a the small charter school made my life seem insignificant. My school was located in the middle of a patch of farmland and away from any trace of civilization. The location drew every type of bug and vermin one could this of, which made my school experience even more miserable. In my mind, school was not the place I liked to spend my time during the week. Being around immature peers who interrupted my education irritated me extremely. Furthermore, some of the work the teachers gave me were unnecessary when they could have just given me a test instead. One example of this was the poetry contest.
I wrote my poem the night before it was due, on Wednesday May 5th, 2010. Each of the seventy-or-so students in my grade were required to submit a poem for the contest. My plan when I sat down on my weathered tan couch with my crooked glasses and messy pigtails was to get it done, and get it done fast.
“This better not take forever to write,” I mumbled under my breath.
I did not understand why I was given this assignment; it was not important to my academic growth and therefore did not matter. This made me angry, because it was crazy I was spending time on such an irrelevant assignment instead of relaxing and watching TV. I decided to express my anger in the poem by writing about my daily routine; I titled it the “The School Schedule.”
On Friday of that same week, I was announced as the first place winner. After recess, my grade was called by the teachers to line up by homeroom. I wanted to go inside the classroom get away from the blaring sun in my eyes, and the annoying bugs.
“I feel like I’m melting out here, it’s too hot,” I thought.
“And lastly the poetry contest Champion is...Taylor W.!” Exclaimed one of my teachers.
I was so caught up in my thoughts that I did not hear my being called. It took me a moment to register what my teacher was saying. I came out of my reverie and walked out of the line towards the front. I smiled as the whole grade applauded me.
It confused me why I won the contest. When I wrote the poem I knew the odds of me winning were infinitesimal, so I believed this contest did not matter, but I was wrong. No matter how irrelevant the contest was, because I put some effort into it there was a chance that I would be recognized for my effort. This made me realize that trying, even it if seemed pointless, actually did have an impact.
After this experience, I realized the meaning behind wanting and trying to succeed. It was not the glory that came after the work, but the feeling when I realized how much I was capable of if I put my mind to it. I began to want more for myself in school. I thought, if I could win a contest without trying, I wondered what I could do if I was trying. If my effort paid off, my future would be bright. I could basically go into any career I wanted to, and all I had to do was find the significance in everything I did, no matter what.
Receiving an award for my poem in fourth grade effortlessly opened my eyes to the abundance of possibilities I had for my future. I believe if I did not win, this realization would have happened later in my life, and it could have been too late for me to change my perspective. It may be true that each individual human life is insignificant, but each effort makes the impact on the universe more momentous.