The Real Reward For Hard Work

I remember thoroughly this one project I was assigned to do in my first honors class during my junior year at Algonquin. We had to draw a map of the whole setting of the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I could personally relate to this story and liked reading the novel because it allowed me to use my imagination to predict what all the different settings of the book looked like and I love drawing things out in my mind then putting them down on paper. I was so inspired by the story, that I was determined to receive a good grade. I worked for hours night after night, sketching every detail in my imagination, being as meticulous as I could. I made every window sparkle with the reflection of sunlight; the ominous shadows of the opaque trees left the lawn in darkness, and crisp morning air would make the dark waters of the Long Island Sound sway and glisten.

I put so much passion into this one project that I knew even before I handed it in to my teacher, I would definitely receive an A . A few days later when we got the project back, my predictions were precise. I was the only one in the class who received an A . Ever since then, I’ve remembered the feeling of satisfaction and pride that I had when I learned that I was a step above all the rest in my class. After that I began to take pride in my work in all of my classes. From this experience I learned that there truly is a real reward from hard work.
At the beginning of my freshman year I was told that High school should be a breeze as long as I work hard and manage my time effectively. However, I learned quickly that it is not as easy as it seems. Instead of staying in and studying I went out with friends. Sure I got my work done, but at the last minute, and I did the work to just do it, not to actually learn the material. Now the college process has arrived and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not being a better student is my biggest regret.
Until my junior year, I always had the “I’ll just do it tomorrow, what’s going to happen if I don’t?” mentality. I have always been told that I am very smart; however, I never worked up to my full potential. I never took pride in my work unless it was a big test or project. But during my junior year, I started taking the advice of my parents about junior year being the most important year of high school. So I began to work harder. I decided to truly challenge myself for the future and I chose to be in all honors classes my senior year.
Now during my senior year I am taking pride in all of my work and making sure I learn the material instead of just doing the work. I now have the best grades I have had throughout my career in high school. This year I have worked up to my full potential as a student and I have exceeded my own personal goals to do well this year. After my “new” mentality kicked in, I am no longer nervous about getting into the right college for me. I am very sure of myself and very confident in myself to succeed in and outside the classroom. My biggest regret is not coming to my senses earlier.

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