External factors can’t bar success

March 27, 2012

By Lee Xie

Lee Xie Skyline High School

As a girl living on the plateau, I have often heard that our affluent surroundings are why students in this area excel in their studies. While I am infinitely grateful for my fortunate circumstances, I also believe that with the right attitude, external factors cannot bar a person from achieving success.

This philosophy is largely a result of my own personal experiences, as I grew up in Queens, by no means an affluent neighborhood situated in New York City. I have no recollection of growing up with the resources that the Issaquah School District provides me with today; my teachers wrote on blackboards in chalk and our school library was a tiny room near the entrance of the school. What I do remember, and what I find most important still today, is the sense of work ethic and a love for learning that my mother instilled in me from a very young age.

I didn’t have a computer at home, so I went to the library with her every weekend. While she worked, I spent hours reading, taking advantage of the fact that this knowledge was free and available to all whom wished to receive it.

When my family’s circumstances became better, we moved to Issaquah, where I started second grade in a much different environment. But although I was provided with better resources, my academic success still stemmed from one thing: the can-do attitude I developed during my time in New York.

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