Benjamin Conroy - Grade 8, Incarnation Catholic School
A Good Start to a Good Life
The teenage years are some of the most important years of a person’s life. Often a person’s life course is determined between the crucial ages of thirteen and twenty. Therefore, it is important that every person has a plan on how on how to make the most of their adolescent years. In this essay I will discuss my ideas on how to have a successful teenage career, both in and out of the classroom.
Possibly the most important part of leading a successful and productive teenage life is having goals to work toward and having clear priorities. I am a fervent believer in both of these things. I can personally attest to how much this strategy has helped me to become the student and person I am today. One example of this is my grades. I’ve never had a B on my report card in my life. The only way I was able to accomplish this was by putting my schoolwork above my social life and by setting short-term and long-term goals for myself.
Having a positive attitude and personality is also an enormous advantage in leading a full adolescent life. As Nelson Mandela once said, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” What he’s telling us is that with the right combination of optimism and perseverance, you’ll have the entire world at your fingertips. The possibilities of what and who you can be are infinite, and with these traits anything you try to be will end up being great. Here’s an idea for my fellow teenagers: Look at everything you do in a positive way. If you make a mistake, learn from it. If you get a bad grade, do better next time. These character traits continue to help me grow as a person.
While you’re a teenager, not everything will be handed to you on a silver platter. Working for what you want and overcoming adversity will lead you to where you want to be. The key to working through difficulty is not focusing on how you’ve been held back; it’s focusing on how you plan to persevere and break through. Failure should not be an option. My father is a perfect example of this. Five years ago, his father and my grandfather died of lung cancer. Instead of becoming bitter and angry at the world, my Dad became a better person, and he now has learned to enjoy spending time with his remaining family members even more than he did before.
Think of all the traits I have discussed as pieces to a puzzle. Only by fitting all of them together will we see the entire picture, a successful and enjoyable adolescent life. My final thought is this: Mrs. Yeck’s philosophy applies to ALL teenagers, not just a certain group that has been blessed with a particular gift. By always striving to live out this philosophy, you may just find yourself to be happier than you expected.