Killing Me Softly

“Once you leave high school, no one’s going to care.”

The number of times I was given this hollow statement during my senior year are innumerable.

My senior year of high school was a struggle and a lot of the time I didn’t think I would win. I wanted something that, in my mind, I deserved to have. I wanted to be the Valedictorian of my class. I mean, why not? I had worked hard, I had gotten all As, I had taken AP classes.

It was not easy. I pushed myself that last year like I had never done before. And whenever things looked bleak, someone would be there to pat me on the back and remind that, while it was a great honor, no one would care looking back.

Except that I did.

The thing was, I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with myself if I didn’t really reach for it and grab the title. It wasn’t about being the best or being first… it was about fulfilling a goal I had set for myself. About proving to myself that I was capable of really achieving something.

That’s how I think we should all set our goals: not as something that others will be impressed by, but as something that we want for ourselves. Maybe my medal will sit in my room and collect dust, but the place inside that swells with pride knowing I did what I set up to do won’t. It wasn’t for anyone else. It was for me. And because of that, it was worth it.

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