Mitran Thakor September 8, 2012 Ms.

Ingram English 1103-036 Me, Myself, and I My entire life has been centered on two major aspects: my family and friends, and school. My family and friends have been by my side since I was a child and have helped me mold myself into who I am today. My parents have taught me to stay optimistic about any situation and to not let any obstacle get the best of me. My friends have always been there for me through thick and thin and thus taught me the true definition of loyalty. Going to school every day for twelve years now has instilled in me the desire to be great. It has taught me competition not only in academics, but also in athletics and in life. I believe I am a prime example of a product of my environment; I have taken all the positives of what is around me and used it to shape myself. Ever since I was a child I’ve always tried my hardest in school. I think I can accredit that trait to my father. One day when I was in the 3rd grade, I came home with a bad grade on a test. It was only a “B-”, but my dad knew I could do better. He sat me down and said “Son, I know a “B” on a test doesn’t sound bad, but let me tell you a secret. “B” actually stands for Burger King, so if you keep getting them, you’ll end up working in one. Education is the key for a successful life.” “But dad it’s only a “B”, it’s not that bad!” I responded. He nodded his head in agreement and said “I know it’s not bad, but the both of us know you can do better with a little more effort. No matter how smart you are, you still have to work hard to be the best. You can be the smartest person in the world but with no desire to work hard you’ll probably end up in Burger King.”

Those words have stuck with me till today. I know that may sound too demanding of a parent to tell his child a “B” is not acceptable, but my dad’s intentions were pure. My culture greatly values education and learning. My father and grandfather were well-educated lawyers in India and therefore shed the importance of it upon others. My dad knew I wasn’t unlocking my full potential and striving to be the best I could be. Education is the key to success built on a foundation of hard work. What you sow is what you reap. goes the saying. Rising early to go to school pays and paying attention in school pays even more. Doing my homework is a priority, it keeps me on the same page with my class, it helps my teacher to help me excel. Education is beyond classroom everything around me teaches me something. I will go far and near to search for knowledge. I will turn knowledge into wisdom, wisdom that helps me to stand for the truth. That is what matters after all the search for knowledge. That is success. -Stella Santana From an early age my dad taught me to do my best in everything and I have ever since. I have gotten a few “B”s and “C”s here and there over the years, but I definitely won’t be working in a Burger King in the future. School is also something I invest a lot of my time in because I see the importance in it. I know that succeeding in school will ultimately lead to me succeeding in my career and in life so I take it very seriously. My parents came to this country from India with nothing but a $20 dollar bill. My dad was well on his way to becoming one of the top lawyers in India but he dropped everything and moved to America for opportunity I would have here. My parents sacrificed their family, careers, and their lives just for me to have the opportunity to be successful, so it would be a shame for me to not try to be the best I can.

Aside from school work, I also spend a lot of my time doing extracurricular activities. They help me ease the stress of school and take my mind off other things. I’ve been playing sports ever since I was a child. I love to play basketball whether it is with my friends or in a competitive league because I feel like it brings the true competitor out of me. Many people would describe me as a little shy, but on the basketball court I feel like I’m completely different. Basketball has taught me to compete at my highest level, and it has also taught me the consequences of not doing so. Nothing stung more than losing in the divisions 4-A state playoffs last year. I was disappointed in my team, but much more in myself. There is no feeling like losing at something you feel you’re good at; it completely destroys your confidence. It does however make you work even harder next time and instills a drive to never lose again. Obviously losing is a part of life, it is inevitable, but it is how you respond to loosing that makes you who you are. For me, loosing is not an option: not in basketball, not in life. I know that the real world is more real than I can imagine and the best way I can be successful in it is to compete to the best of my ability. My parents have also taught me the value of good faith in God. Even though I am not very religious, I still try to keep a connection with my faith and trust in God. However, it is very difficult for me to do so because of where I live. For example, my religion recommends that I not eat anything that was made by killing an animal. Living in America however, it is very difficult to find vegetarian food, especially when I’m at college. At home I can eat the traditional vegetarian dishes my mom prepares, but at college there isn’t a large variety of food that I can choose from. It is very difficult at times and sometimes I even feel like giving into the temptation and just eating meat. During my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I started eating meat. I was getting tired of eating the same old vegetarian food and decided I needed to change

things up. I began eating meat on a regular basis but then quit after 10th grade. Meat was something I enjoyed very much; it was like a whole new world for me, but something didn’t feel right about it. I felt guilty for betraying what I believed in; I felt like my connection with God had lessened and so I stopped. I can say that I haven’t eaten meat in quite some time now; I do eat it once in a while (maybe once or twice a year). When I tell people that I am vegetarian, they look at me like I’m some kind of health freak; in reality however I do not eat a healthy diet at all. Vegetarianism helps me keep a healthy connection with my faith and the values that I believe in. After reading this essay, you can see I balance my family values, education, and religion in order to live, what is to me, the most complete and fulfilling life. I just believe I have priorities straight when it comes to my approach to life. I feel like it is important to be well prepared for the future because you can never be too sure of what to expect in life.