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Almost everyone grows up with the constant voice in their head saying “Do your best” because that’s what your mother would want. However, every mother’s vision of “your best” is different. Some children are told that if they aren’t receiving straight A’s across their report card, that means they aren’t even trying. That they might as well slap their mother in the face rather than bring home a B. Other students’ parents are more understanding and believe that teachers can be at fault as well. Or maybe it is just a difficult subject for them to grasp, and getting a C is an accomplishment.

Away from the single subject of school, students are expected to be involved in extracurricular activities. In fact, from personal experience, these extracurricular activities include: Police Explorers, National Honor Society, taking college classes at my high school, and at the community college during summer and the regular school semester, having a job to pay for my car to drive me to all of these activities, getting a side job to have money for myself, Chamber (aka top tier) Chorus, and even playing basketball in order to stay in shape. You may think, well dang, it must be impossible to give your best in everything if you’re expected to do all that.

However, if you want to succeed in life that is what you must do. Get over your sorrow, get over your sleepiness, get over your insecurities, get over the pressure from your teachers, peers, and family, and get over expecting to have time for yourself. Being successful in the workplace requires being on time, just like being successful in school requires being on time and present. “Take a load off,” they say. It sounds like an amazing thing to do to those who don’t need to pay for their car in high school, or aren’t trying to get in college, or who have even figured out what they are doing with the rest of their life. Sure, you do not have to overload yourself with all those activities, but in order to be successful in college, you sure do.

Colleges are caring less and less about your GPA, test scores, and transcript. They are caring more and more about how well you did in school, with the amount of work you had on the side. It shows your dedication, commitment, loyalty, and strength. College is also becoming a necessity in today’s workplace because you are expected to have a degree in order to have an important role in the company you work for. College’s want to see your best, and your best is what you must give in everything, yes everything, you do. It can then become the most stressful thing you will have to worry about because there is no guarantee that they will want you. They do not have to accept you into their program, so you must push yourself to be as great as you can. If not, where will you go from there?

Somewhere in America there’s a child in high school struggling to make ends meet, who is looked down upon, made fun of, misunderstood, neglected, alone, and has what feels like the weight of the world on their shoulders. Every adult will tell them that their world is so miniscule compared to the giant universe and even country that is around them. That their problems could be so much worse and they should be thankful for what they have. Yet, the child will not understand. The child doesn’t understand what it is to have a normal household. They might live with a foster family, or even their grandparents. The child sees how easy it is to give into peer pressure and go with the crowd who doesn’t care about the law of the land. This child is probably not far away from what you call home.

While this child may not understand why they were chosen to be away from their mom and dad, they do understand how to make the lives of their children better than theirs was. Do not underestimate this child, because they will refuse to be underestimated. Unless this child has already given up, (if not then they are close), they have already learned the struggle of giving their best in everything and will prove to anyone who doubts them that they can. Whether it is their coworker making fun of them because they had not had time to wash their car yet, or their teacher for them being late, or their parents for not trying out for another sport, they are expected to get over it. There is no time to dwell on the past, you must move forward, get accepted into college with a full-ride scholarship, get straight A’s, show up on time to everything, forget about your parents, and hope you have a better future than they did.



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