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Gilberto Lopez

Ms. Kopaitich

AP English Literature

What we can and cannot do is a big misconception formed by personal opinion,

and not knowing one’s true potential. There are millions of people out in the world who

will never try anything a second time, if they didn’t achieve it within their second

attempt. However, the beauty of life is how many opportunities arise, and usually, with

room for error. If you didn’t do well on the job interview, you can always try again when

they are in need of people. Failing a test is alright, as long as you prepare for the retake. It

is possible to succeed as long as we have some discipline and willpower. We are capable

of so much more than we think, but we fail to go through with things, because we don’t

have enough discipline.

I have always loved mathematics, and I have always been a “gifted” student. I

would never study for tests; it all just came to me naturally. I thought I had life figured

out at fifteen, but I could not have been more mistaken. I have always had good grades,

but it wasn’t until high school when I would receive the fist clenching grade of a

borderline C. Precalculus was the name of the course, and it would be the class to break

the mold. I wanted the A, and the only way to maintain it would be by studying. The

problem was that I had such a bad habit of never studying; I would do homework and

play video games the rest of my freetime. If I really wanted to pass Precalculus I would

have to make time for studying. However, making time to study was a tedious task to me,
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I would have to really force myself to start studying. To me, this was a drastic change as I

thought studying wasn’t necessary, but it altered so much more than just my habits.

Before Precalculus, I was disorganized, undisciplined in an academic sense, and

always procrastinating. After studying, it became clear that in order to memorize what I

learned, I would have to study and constantly force myself to study. Gut-wrenching

studying became the light at the end of the mathematical tunnel. I had to keep forcing

myself, so that it would become a habit of mine. Before I even realized, I was now study

as part of a weekly routine. Discipline helped me overcome my academic obstacle and

created a habit that would help me in the long run . Now, I even had extra time to do

anything else I wanted. Small details in a test problem were once cryptic, but now they

were as clear as the night sky. By the end of my junior year, I was able to get A’s and

only one B in my final report card. This change of events made me realize something

about how we work as humans.

As humans, we are creatures who depend on discipline and willpower in order to

do that which we don’t want to, but there are always situations were we choose to not act.

Being disciplined is very important. When we seem tired, angry, or even “out of it”, our

mindset is not where we want it to be. “Some things we just can’t do ourselves,” that is

the misconception discipline can solve. I realized that I need discipline in order to do that

which I find tedious or laborious. It is ourselves that keep us from doing what we want to

do. Without discipline I would have failed Precalculus, and I would be completely lost in

AP Calculus. At times it can be the smallest struggle; taking medicine, getting out of bed,

or always writing your name on your papers. With some discipline, we can do even what

we thought was out of our reach.