I’m not pretty. I’m not popular. I’m not best dressed. But these were the things I thought about when I was younger. I was not much concerned about my school lessons or my grades in those days. Did I flunk every test? Of course not. I was average. Simply average. My life had been no walk in the park, and in a way, I kind of pitied myself.

Somewhere in the midst of all of that pitying, I thought, why? Why am I wallowing in the past when I could be creating a better future? I realized that my background doesn’t make me a victim. My skin color doesn’t affect my abilities. And my past certainly doesn’t determine my future. I decided that getting a good education was the only way up and out. After I made education a top priority in my life, the materialistic things that had concerned me before became superfluous.

Education is important to me because it is a constant reminder that there is hope. I have the right to dare myself to be a better me. I can no longer just sit around and expect things to happen. I know I must make positive things happen for me.

These days I take full advantage of my education. Though it comes with its difficulties, I am thoroughly enjoying my high school experience. So far, it has been very demanding, but I savor the confidence and strength it ignites in me. I am constantly challenged in my work, my actions, my patience, and, most importantly, my character.

I have begun to indulge myself in education. I have an obsession with knowledge! There are so many things that I don’t know, and I am learning more and more each day. So, I push myself every day both personally and with my education because there are no limits. Not for me, not for anyone.

My school experiences have taught me that character plays a major role in how successful I am. My character not only defines who I am, it allows others to see who I really am. Focusing on character has helped me to avoid unnecessary drama because I know what my goals are and how I plan to achieve them.

I have given much thought about what I want to do with my future. I have not yet decided which college I want to attend but I plan to go to a four-year university right after high school. I hope to become a registered nurse. I love children, so I would really like to be in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) field of nursing. I also have a passion for writing, so I am considering a minor in journalism. From there, I would like to help spread awareness about the importance of education to other students across the world.

Education is a top priority in my life, and I hope to make it a priority in the lives of other students as well. Those who wallow in the past, who feel like ordinary is all they can be, and who feel there is no way out, I would like them to know that education is a way out. It can change our lives, but it will only take us as far as we allow it. It’s time to step up and stand out! Taking full advantage of my education is the best change I’ve made.