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Mason Brooks: “Doing My Best in Life”

This I Believe

Doing My Best in Life

by Mason Brooks

I believe that doing my best is one of the most important things in life. When I was growing up I performed decently in school. All the sports teams that I played on I also performed decently. When I was a kid I never really tried my hardest on most things because I didn’t think I needed to. I thought that everything would always just work out because I was a little kid who thought he was invincible. But through time and experience I have learned that the best outcome usually occurs when I do my best.

While I was in high school I usually had some stress when it came to my grades in school. Part of this was because sometimes I had assignments that I didn’t turn in on time. In retrospect, this wasn’t because I had too much of a workload, it was because I wasn’t doing my best. A lot of the time when I received assignments, I wouldn’t do them right away. I would rather talk to someone near me or go on my phone. Doing my best in this situation would have seemingly been to do the assignments when I got them, but I just thought “whatever” many of the times I received an assignment. Sometimes, even the assignments that I turned in or completed on time I wouldn’t do my best. For a lot of quizzes, I knew I would have gotten an A if I were to have studied but I would just tell myself “I’d do ok”. This would usually lead to my teachers handing me Bs or Cs on my quizzes. But in one of these instances, this method of thinking turned out poorly for me. I used this method for a quiz in my AP History class and I thought “I always did well in my history classes, why would I need to study?” The outcome of this was that I got a F and I was not that excited about it.

It really hit me that coasting in life wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to be when I first started going to NOVA. When I first started taking classes, especially the SDV course, I realized that every grade for every course that I take in college matters. This change in my thought process occurred during the first days of SDV class. While I was in those classes, the professor was talking to us about how to succeed in college and why it was important to succeed in college. He showed us graphs detailing the correlation between GPA and the average salary of students once they obtained a job. These graphs showed that the higher the GPA, the higher the average salary. After seeing this my point of view had a major shift. I now realized that how well I do for my four years in college will directly affect how many opportunities I have financially outside of college.

A couple weeks into going to NOVA I started putting the best school strategies that I would learn in the SDV course into my notes, as well as others I’d find online or think of myself. I started writing to-do lists on my computer and I also started asking teachers for help when I was confused with anything. I started doing a lot of the assignments in advance that I could do and I also began to do extra credit assignments so I would be able to have a higher grade. I made these adjustments for the first time in my life as a student and it led to me being on the dean’s list (not to boast about myself). This made me feel less stressed in school and made me more optimistic about my future as a student and beyond because I now know how important doing my best at anything in life is.

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(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image from Vecteezy)

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