Each person’s life is a journey on a contorted road dotted with bumps and craters. At certain points, the bumps could seem as high as mountains and the pits as deep as lots, making this journey called life appear quite despondent. Although occasionally, your predicaments are entirely fate’s blunders, but perchance, they are your own. Your personal characteristics roughly resemble a steering wheel for your journey. They could be positive traits, which could steer you on a more decent path; or negative traits, which could steer you to a path that’s, well… not so decent. Although you have no control over fate, you have power over your own “driving skills”, and could thus widen or narrow your chance for a smooth, prosperous journey. Also, it is beneficial to remember that you are not alone, for there are many other roads that coincide with yours, where others are conducting through their own journeys and floundering through their own bumps and craters as well. Drive together, and you could purvey support and encouragement for one another, and thus institute milder paths for all of you. Most prominently, no matter how harsh the terrain of your road becomes, just remember that you will pull through and be transformed for the better because of it.
This optimistic philosophy that I’ve adopted had been much solace to me in my own journey in becoming a successful high school student. It was not at all easy. Although fate has been overall lenient to me, it was my “driving skills” that tended to direct my course towards huge bumps. Despite my awareness of my own flaws and omissions, I still compulsorily reproached others and sought ways to exonerate myself. This was one of the worst traits I retain. It precluded me from obtaining responsibility for my choices and learning from past oversights, thus impeded my maturing process. For example, my projects were oftentimes undone till the last minute (including this one). I would think to myself, “I don’t feel like doing it today, so I’ll work on it tomorrow”. Thus the project was delayed further and further until there was no “tomorrow” for it anymore, and then I would end up working well over midnight while secretly scowling at the teacher for giving out such a tedious and inane assignment. Immaturity and refusal to admit my errors caused me to plunge into countless pits in my journey. The one positive trait that had proved to be highly efficient in boosting me out of these pits is ambition. I know that too much of it could corrupt a person, but so far it had only empowered my spirit with much-needed optimism. My greatest ambition is to become a renowned novelist; therefore every hardship and pain to me befits an inspiration for a potential novel. It is a most optimistic perception of things, and it had succoured me through many phases of emotional turmoil.
Although my own choices and personal characteristics had prompted many of my dilemmas, a certain number of large bumps on this road did bluntly materialise without my causing them. An example of that would be my kindergarten teacher. Back then, I was excessively shy and timid. (I still am, but not as much). I mainly kept to myself and was far too apprehensive to participate in class activities. Consequently, I might have appeared to be rather slow or mentally challenged. That was exactly what my teacher assumed. She would openly denounce me as a retarded child in front of myself and all my peers, and I was at that stage in my life of accrediting whatever adults told me. Thus for a long time, I subconsciously retained the impression that I was somehow less than other kids. The lack of self-esteem had often induced me to fail before I even try. The other major obstacle that I’ve contended with was during my first years in the States. I had moved to Philadelphia, PA at the age of nine with primitive English comprehension. In addition, we were coerced to dwell in one of the most delinquent and precarious districts in West Philadelphia due to our low budgets. The despicable socio-economic status of my neighbourhood could be seen from the school I attended, which had metal detectors installed at its doors. I underwent a great deal stress both academically and socially due to problems of communication. Plus there were a number of students that discriminated against me because I had the lightest skin colour in my school. As a result, I developed paranoia towards my peers, which ensues me even now.
Nevertheless, everybody undergoes their own adversities, shed their own tears, and abide their own pains. At these times of needs, friends, family, and other favourable resources are to be treasured more highly. I was never alone on this road, for many other roads that coincided with mine have brought much joie de vivre upon my journey. One of which who was always there behind me was my dad. I am not abashed to say that he is my best friend. There was a period in my childhood when he was not there for me. However, he made up for it by being the best father one could have. Not only did he did take the time to assist me with my homework when needed and spent plenty of quality time with me, he was always there with wisdom, encouragement, and consolation. The other momentous source of benefit is Canada. Moving across the Atlantic Ocean was undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened to me. The reason is that the education system in China is not only relentlessly harsh; it is sadistically cruel. Society has deemed that if you failed to attain a university degree, you’d be a disgrace. Your career and marital opportunities would be despicably downtrodden. In addition, China possesses an enormous population and too few universities to match, thus eliciting nervous breakdowns among many high school students, some were even impelled to commit suicide due to the immense pressure. I, on the other hand, am indescribably glad to be here in Canada, where I am much more likely to do well in high school and thus hold a promising future.
Now here I am in grade 10 with a tolerable grade average and a healthy attitude towards school and life in general. Although this journey had been difficult and even toilsome at times, I pulled through. One of the merits that I have acquired from my past experiences is strength. (I’m not referring to muscles, of which I have none). Strength in mind and spirit is like steel, and the most sublime of its quality can only be heated through suffering. I do not mean to pity myself, but I do believe that I’ve suffered more than many other teenagers have. There are certain things that I have not mentioned in this assignment, deeper pits in the hidden trails of my memory. Nonetheless, each time I fall, I was obliged to obtain strength in order to rise. Thus each time I rose, I was a little stronger than before. My kindergarten teacher’s abuse, for example, had brought me much self-loathing, but not anymore. What’s left is a searing urge within me to spite her by proving her wrong. Another lesson that I’ve learned through my journey up to this point is to appreciate all that life has to offer. Life is short, and my road could abruptly come to a halt at anytime. Thus it is prominent to savour each and every moment of it by focusing on the positive things. My struggles and desolation have procured me to value what I have in order to overcome depression. My family, friends, and other fortunate events in my life have been lights in times of darkness, reminding me that the world is not completely forlorn and bleak. Optimism, along with strength, is all that I need to carry on.
And thus I go forth on this journey with the memories of all the people and places I’ve left behind. I know that as long as I possess a goal, I will never be lost. My goal as a successful high school student had been so far adequately accomplished, however, as always, there is much room for enhancement. It had been a most arduous but rewarding journey. My friends and family, especially my father, had made this journey much easier. Also, I would not overlook Canada, which is such an enlightening and lenient learning environment. All of these allies and resources have presented me with guidance in the right course. However, some of my personal characteristics, like irresponsibility, were inclined to steer me astray. Then again, other traits that I possess, like ambition, succoured me in the continuance of my journey. The bumps and craters that I’ve met along my journey held a large role in constituting the person that I am now. I have fallen so many times into the seemingly abyss of despair and struggled against the mirror for just a speck of self-esteem, but I have survived. I understand that there will be greater obstacles and barriers in the future, but I personally believe that pain is a thing to be prized. Someone who does not know pain would not appreciate joy, nor would he obtain the strength to make his journey worthwhile.