Crossing the finish line in first place, I’m happy…until the moment my eyes look up at the clock. It wasn’t enough. My time was just shy of that seventh varsity spot on the Cross Country team.
My family comes to congratulate me and I force a smile. They remind me that I’d done my best that day…if only my time had been a little bit faster. Next time, I know to focus only on my individual goals and running for my team.
Math tests are back today and I have to do well. This can’t be like the last one where I only got a 94%. With that score, I didn’t make it up onto the board where my teacher shows the highest grades.
He’s walking towards my pod, handing back tests. He drops my test faced down on my desk. I slowly inch my way towards it until my finger touches the edge. I quickly turn it over. My score is written in black letters and circled on the top: a 98. I’m happy. I studied hard, I went in for help, and I completed all the homework. My hard work finally paid off.
My teacher turns on the SMARTboard and I skim the top scores, searching for my name. One percentage point. That’s all it would’ve taken to get my name on the board. I go back to my test, and look at the questions I got wrong. Next time, I will check over my answers thoroughly to be sure I don’t make any silly mistakes.
Having strong emotions is a positive characteristic. I have come to realize that my emotions show how passionate I am. Knowing I’m capable of improvement and wanting it to be noticed, I strive to do better.
During the last few years my desire to do well, both in school and athletics, has matured. In chasing perfection, it was difficult for me to accept anything less than perfect. When I did well, I looked to others who obtained higher grades. After being fixated on the fact that nothing was ever good enough, I gradually realized my best is good enough.