The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

66 The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 My 104,000-Dollar Summer Gregg Mendel “Pencils down!” yelled the test instructor. I had just finished the math portion of the ACT, and I had no idea how I had done. “Hope that was good enough” I said to myself as I crammed a granola bar in my mouth. That was my lunch for the day, since the ACT only allows 5 minute breaks in their 3-hour test. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous for this test, since my whole future relied on getting a good score. Reaching this point had been one of the hardest things I have ever done. What I had learned and how it had changed me was amazing, but I had no time to think about that; the English section was up next. “Pencils up!” Two years ago I wouldn’t have known the difference between the ACT test and the second ACT of a play, and I couldn’t care less. Back then I possessed absolutely no work effort and had no love for studying. I didn’t acquire this attitude from my family, since all of them are extremely hard workers, and they love to learn. For example, my sister is so dyslexic that doctors thought she wouldn’t be able to walk, let alone read. But through hard work and even harder studying, she is now top in her business class. My Dad is the only member of his large family to go to college, mainly because he was the only one in his house that studied hard enough to go. My mother came from a family that were servants to an extremely wealthy couple. By hard work and hard studying, she now has the highest degree for aquatic environmental entomologist out there. And then there was me, the one who didn’t want to work hard at anything. Studying was easy; I could get away without preparing for tests and still ace them. Work around the house wasn’t too hard, and I didn’t have a job because that would require a lot of effort. My walk with the Lord was faltering, but that didn’t matter as long as my life was going well, right? I saw no problems on the horizon. I guess I didn’t look at the horizon carefully, because a huge problem soon appeared. As a child, money is never an issue that comes to mind. But as I entered my junior year of high school,