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Set A Goal And Get A Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   America is brimming with opportunities and privileges - a nation so great that its accomplishments not only excel in the arts and sciences but also set a standard of economic excellence. Then why is it plagued by the issue of disappointing academic statistics? This fact can be blamed on laziness and the lack of motivation in both students and teachers. I agree that raising standards and establishing stricter curricula are sound solutions to motivating students to study harder. These reforms are also good motivations for schools to achieve a higher level of academic achievement. But actions speak louder than words. These proposed solutions must be put to the test. Optimists predict that today's youth can adapt to the new standards. Pessimists condemn this generation.

I believe that what the mind can conceive, it can achieve. But if we have no goals to reach for, why try? Success depends 99.9% upon the individual. If I don't care what my future holds, I won't work toward it. Ask successful people what motivated them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, and they will tell you of their goals.

What is the goal of The 21st Century newspaper? Its goal is to prove the critics wrong: this is not Generation X. Its purpose is to allow teenagers the privilege of expressing themselves, and to allow us a voice in this biased society. By setting a goal, achieving that goal has not only become a possibility, but a reality.

We should encourage today's youth to set goals. To concentrate on their dreams and not let the dark waves of intimidation, anxiety, or pessimism cloud their way. Life would be devastatingly boring if we didn't have challenges. A goal is the light that allows us to see.

So how can we accomplish the seemingly difficult goal of raising the academic standards of this country? Encourage youth to participate in constructive after-school activities. Support the proposed reforms for a higher education, not only through words but through action.

For students: you can do it! Take advantage of public libraries. You will be surprised at the knowledge you can gain by reading a book, magazine, newspaper, or even a pamphlet. Use free time to engage in a game of chess or trivia questions. Learn to budget your time and organize your priorities. Be disciplined. Do your best in everything. You never fail if you have done your work honestly. Trying is better than worrying, and it achieves more. Set a goal, and remember ... nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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