EDITOR'S NOTE: TeQuayla Rayford was the first place winner of the junior class at Thomson High School in the recent Laws of Life essay. Below is her essay.
Throughout my lifetime I have learned that "there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." (Colin Powell) I will never succeed in life if I never get back up and try again, even if I fail. I have the perseverance to do anything I set my mind to. My main goal in life is to graduate.
In the past, I have faced many obstacles and minor setbacks. In most situations, I overcame those obstacles and in some I did not. Failure is the only thing that keeps me striving for the better things in life. Failure is not easy to cope with. However, I have learned I must fail in order to succeed. If I do not learn from my mistakes then I will never accomplish anything in life. I have learned that it is essential to give some effort in order to receive accomplishments. The result of life depends on the amount of effect I exert.
When I approached high school I was looking forward to meeting new people and achieving new and improved goals. However, I was not prepared for the life ahead. I felt I was not ready for high school. In middle school, teachers tend to give students second chances and an extended amount of time to complete assignments. I adapted the thinking of if I did not finish my homework then I can always finish it later when I have more time. In high school, it is completely different in most courses. It is either you have your assignment or you don't, no excuses, no extensions. It was hard for me to accept this fact. I would sometimes complete assignments only in certain classes if it was too late. I felt that I should be given more time. I also felt that teachers should acknowledge the fact that I have eight classes with homework in 6 out of 8. I felt that life was not fair; I often went home depressed because I was not used to failure. I was not used to receiving C's instead of A's. It was not normal for me.
As I began to grow up and mature, I soon began to realize that I was only making excuses for life instead of facing the consequences. I needed to step back into reality before it was too late. I was tired of failure. Often I found myself staying up as late as two in the morning to complete all my assignments or study for an upcoming test. I believed success was not an option, it was a priority. There were nights when I would not even go to sleep because I had a lot of work to complete. After a while, I could not take the pressure anymore. I went through a phase in my life when I did not care at all. I would not complete some of my work simply because I did not want to. I felt as if I did not matter, as if no one cared about me. I began to think that if I failed in life no one would even notice my life going downhill. Then I started to think about my mother, that if she was still alive; what she would have to say about me would not be as pleasant as I would hope. I started to turn my life around, I started to care again. I began to get A's again. I was proud of myself. I started to succeed in many aspects in my life. Everything was back to how it was in middle school. I had to walk through the dangerous mountains in order to reach the open meadow. It is not the end of the road for me because I have experienced success as well as failure. The result of my hard work and perseverance has inspired me to continue with my journey up to 2011 and beyond.