APs have ended and now all the students can finally relax. This year, I had my AP Bio and AP English exam. I didn’t really study for english because there wasn’t really a way to study besides learning big words. I studied for bio a lot. I read over the concepts, the labs, and the projects I did in the past. I was nervous because my bio test was first. I guess I didn’t have to be that nervous because I felt pretty confident that I passed with at least a 3. English on the other hand, I didn’t study and I’m pretty sure I’m on the borderline of a 2 or 3. I’m just hoping that the people that grade my test give me mercy.
Now that testing is over, I can relax in bio because there’s nothing else to learn. We have finished one movie about heart surgery and we just finished watching Interstellar yesterday. I didn’t watch the beginning but it is still a really good movie. English however, we are still doing work. We just started Catcher in the Rye and I’m a little behind but it’s a good book. I’m hoping to catch up this weekend. We are doing a College and Career Project where we write our resumes, respond to the UC entrance essay prompts, and write our goal statements. I kind of have trouble with it but I can manage getting through this project. Other than those two classes, everything’s pretty normal. Even though AP testing may be over, the classes might not be.
Dedication is one of the most valuable assets anyone can have, but it’s also extremely hard to acquire. It can only be achieved over a long period of time, during which the person must consistently work hard. You have to go through a lot of trials to become dedicated because dedication is about continuing to work hard despite not wanting to or being tired of whatever you’re doing.
Dedication is not simply joining a club and attending all the meetings. It’s going to all the events you can, applying for board, and continuing to attend meetings, events, and be active in the club despite difficulties and/or lack of interest. This makes perseverance a major factor in becoming dedicated; the drive to keep working hard even when you might not want to. In fact, dedication means continuing to do your best especially when you don’t want to.
But, don’t be discouraged. I think that being dedicated can seem daunting and a big task that can consume your time and energy. But once you’ve got it, you’re stuck with it. As long as you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, it’s hard to un-dedicate yourself.
The 2014 Cappies Gala, where we won best team.
So despite all the struggles on the road to dedication, the pay off is huge. Last year, for example, my school’s Cappies team (which I’m on) won the best team award. The reason we won wasn’t because we were the most talented, although we did have some very gifted writers, it was because we were dedicated: to theatre, writing, and to excelling in the Cappies program.
A few days ago, my English teacher mentioned about a recent blogpost of Austin Kleon’s, that talked about why you SHOULD be able to throw away old works, whatever it may be. It really resonated with me because I never thought of WHY I would refuse to let go of some of my school works-something as irrelevant as old homework from like, Science class.
Then when school finally ended for Thanksgiving Break and I was able to find the time the next day, on Saturday, I got right to work. Every year when school ends I will usually keep about 60% of my work. It’s not really about the joy of hoarding something and feeling fulfilled when I am surrounded by a lot of these little projects and essays that I keep. In the post (I can’t find it sorry!), the author that Kleon quoted explained that the reason that you SHOULD throw away old works is that- YOU have the ability to recreate it. You did it once, you can definitely do it again. To a certain extent, I agree with that because there is a fear in me that even if I do recreate it again, it would lose that unique touch that I had before.
HOWEVER, 80% of the reason I keep things around (not just school materials) is because I want to keep the memories. There’s something exciting about digging up your old school papers, projects, and notes. You reconnect with yourself again. You realize how mature you were and the thoughts that the 12-year-old you once had. And I guess the reason why I feel this feeling is because today’s society is so advanced. We don’t keep diaries anymore, HELL we don’t even use emails the majority of the time. Everything is digital. It is really nice to look at a paper and see something along the line like “January 6, 2012”. I look past whether or not the work is “relevant” or not, and focus on the value of it. I can tell if I was working really hard on that piece of work. I compare my penmanship and how I organize my name block. Even the texture and color of the paper is changing. Handwritten items are never out of style. And that nostalgic feeling is really irreplaceable..or maybe I’m just a really sentimental person (LOL). If you throw away everything that shows how unique you are (your best works), you’re going to lose inspiration. Sure, they don’t own you or dictate how much you’re worth, but they keep you intact to display YOU.
“Not to get too metaphorical, but getting rid of physical messes can also mean tackling mental and emotional clutter and letting go of the past.” -Shana Lebowitz (http://greatist.com/happiness/hoard-no-more-art-throwing-stuff-away)
People say you should always get rid of the past and look towards the future to a new and improved YOU. But how do you remember where you started when you have nothing to remind you? Have a balance. Keep things only if they will still mean something a few years down the road.