Hi there. I, of 17 years, have been watching other people in life. But before I tell you of other people, I'll tell you of myself. I've always made grades a parent could be proud of (A average throughout my high school years. I've got straight A's on this first report card of my senior year.) But, I hope I don't sound too conceited, but up until the 11th grade, the good grades came almost naturally. I DID have a number of trouble spots, though. For my first year of algebra, I could not, for the life of me, figure out variables. Which is the first step of algebra. I just could NOT solve the equation: 4=2x. I got a bad grade on my first test (this was in freshman year, though.) I was in honors classes because I thought I was smart (I was in regulars kindergarten through 8th grade). This put a blow on me I couldn't stand. I said to myself, "I should drop down a class." In other words, I did the typical, "Screw it. I don't care anymore" attitude that teenagers (and college kids, nowadays) portray. But, through the course of something, I learned variables. And I learned them good. Years came, years past. I quickly began making higher grades than all my new honors friends. But throughout the years, I noticed other students with the, "Screw it. I don't care anymore." attitude, even in the honors classes. And then they make a low grade. I find myself, when confused, saying that same thing. But then I have developed a knack for stepping out of the "angst" box, and saying to myself, "You're just mad because you can't figure it out." I then agree, and then get help from the teacher. It will take a while, but I WILL get it. Just yesterday, we were taking an advanced math test yesterday. At first, I had crazy trouble understanding it. I then proceeded with the "Screw it. I don't care anymore." attitude. Then, I stepped out of my angst. Then I actually THOUGHT about the problem, and then came up with some questions to ask the teacher. I did, and I learned it. I walk into the class yesterday, and all I hear, "Dude, last hour, they said this test was a BEAST." So I got a little worried. I began taking the test... And everything was... Simple. Got the test back today. I made a 99. I only messed up on a problem because I needed to find the area of a circle, and I used the formula to find an area of a sector! Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Then, I looked at myself and asked, "How do you get these good grades?" I thought, and then came up with a few drives: 1. I enjoy being better than everyone. I know this sounds horrible, but I often strive to outperform my peers. I walk faster than them in the halls, act manlier with my male peers, and other acts of competition. I got into an easy class, but the people there didn't care about their grade. I felt no competition, therefore no will to learn. I then got into a sociology class. There's a little competition, but the teacher's interesting. So I like the class. 2. It's kinda like weight training for your brain. Get the mindset that "I can do this" and I'll be able to tackle just about anything. 3. I know that I'll be a productive member of society who's boundaries are limitless if I keep this up (I plan to be a construction engineer. Building... Buildings for the massive win!) 4. My sister does not make the grades I do. Therefore, college will be more expensive for her than I. My parents are horrible at saving money, so I need to get into a good college for as cheap as possible. 5. Golden ID Badge if I make straight A's for at least 3 periods of six weeks. Front of the freakin' school parking. With the teachers. WHAT THEN. 6. I enjoy hard work, though I do have my limits (which is why I'm in sociology class instead of a more advanced class).You don't know how giddy I was when I figured out advanced math. 7. My parents can show me off. I adore attention. My mom tells just about everybody she can that I recieved my letterman jacket for free because of my grades, along with 12 or so other people, out of... Over 300. Had to have a 3.8 GPA or above by end of junior year. 8. People look up to me for help in school. I enjoy helping people, so this is a winning situation for me. So, how about you? If you don't want to read the entire first part, just answer these questions: Do you shoot for the top? Happy with being average? Or are you in the "Screw it, I don't care anymore." mode? What's your drive, or reasons for such?