Varsity Tutors Scholarship Entry

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Samantha of Edison, NJ
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When Did I Get So Passive? - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

When I was in the seventh grade, I was a good student: I handed in my work on time, participated in class, and finished each year with As and Bs. For a while, that was fine. After all, I was passing. What I started to think about, however, were the first four letters of that word, and how “passing” sounds a lot like “passive.” At the ripe age of twelve, I was already starting to consider; when did I get so passive about my education?
As if someone had lit a match under my feet, from that day on I decided that I wasn’t just going to sit in class one day and forget everything I’d learned the next. Instead, I was going to take over the reins of my education, and go for the pluses I knew that I could achieve. That’s when I knew that having a passion for education didn’t just mean “doing well” in school, but it also meant recognizing your potential to exceed expectations, especially those of your own. When you think about it, what is it that makes a person so good at something? How does a painter create a masterpiece, or an author a best-selling novel? They can have all the materials in the world to be "perfect" on paper, but there's only one thing that separates the good from the great: passion. When you're truly passionate about something, you recognize all the hard work ahead of you, and decide that despite it all, you're going to chase after what you want.
That's exactly what I did when I entered high school, only two years after my grand revelation. Entering high school was the ultimate test to whether I would pursue my passion or let up on everything I had worked toward. Surely enough, I passed. Having a passion for education means being invigorated by learning new things and new experiences, even in settings that you're unfamiliar with. With that mindset established, I was able to ace my classes, both academically and in the sense that I was fulfilling my true potential by wholeheartedly dedicating myself to each of my classes. Harnessing my passion to learn created a whole new window of opportunity for me. I started going the extra mile in all of my classes, not just for the grade, but because I knew that if I worked hard, I’d be expanding my ability to think critically and enjoy making new discoveries while I was at it.
In present day, I am a rising high school senior with a lot more to offer than a few As on my report card. The magnitude of being passionate about learning and participating in my school has impacted me beyond the classroom. I am an inquisitive leader, a creative problem-solver, and a student that is one hundred percent passionate about her education, all because I refused to stay complacent in my studies. Because of that, I was finally able to unlock the potential that I always knew I had, and appreciate my education a whole lot more.