My Academic Success Has Nothing To Do With My Effort

Samrath Singh
Youth Advisor, Smart Kidz Club
Student, Caravel Academy Class of 2022
December 18, 2020

I can't read enough. As a 17 year old high school student and athlete who takes multiple AP classes and continues to keep good grades, taking time out for recreational reading is a challenge. However, this was not always the case. As a young child I was a vociferous reader. I loved to read anything I could get my hands on, fiction or nonfiction, and I can safely say that reading has benefited me in more ways than I could count.

My first time experiencing the benefits of reading came as early as in 1st grade when I began reading Harry Potter. I was easily able to breeze through paragraphs and pronounce extremely difficult words. I aced every spelling test, impressed all of my teachers and classmates with my literacy and how I was able to read entire books in just one day. Our school had a designated library day for elementary students. Each Wednesday we were allowed to go with our classes to the school library and pick out books to read until next Wednesday when we were to return the books. I would borrow multiple books at a time and was often admonished or told to allow other students a chance to read. Within two days all the books I had borrowed would be read. Sometimes I would borrow novels from older students and they would be shocked that I was able to finish 150+ page books in just one night. Throughout elementary school my love of reading gave me an unmatched understanding of english and an endless capacity for learning.

I continued to read rigorously even through my early years of middle school. I remember reading from 3:00 pm when I got home from school through the evening. Sometimes I even stayed up until 3:00 am engrossed in a new book. Reading was enjoyable because I got to choose what I got to read and it was a great way to pass time when I was bored. Once I got my head in a book, I couldn't stop. Middle school was a breeze. The amount of books I had read prepared me not only for literature and english classes but also for classes such as math and science. I was able to analyze data, reason more clearly and understand difficult concepts as a result of my prolific reading as a child. I passed middle school with perfect scores. However, as I got older classes became harder. I had less time to read and spent more time volunteering, playing sports or relaxing. Reading was no longer a priority for me. Regardless, I remained a top student entering high school.

High school was a different experience. School had always been easy for me but adjusting to high school and college level courses was quite difficult. Most students struggled tremendously, but I was able to float through my freshman and sophomore years with straight A's with little to no academic effort. The workload was significant but the work seemed very easy to me. Although I had mostly given up recreational reading, my literacy flourished. My essays for school were constantly deemed perfect and my test scores remained immaculate. I constantly scored perfectly on vocabulary tests and my ability to read entire textbooks within hours was crucial to my ability to perform well in college level courses. I can say with complete confidence that my academic success has nothing to do with my effort. My academic success can be directly attributed to my literacy: a literacy I developed as a small child. Being literate and well versed in english from a young age is so incredibly important because it provides a child with all the tools he or she needs to grow and succeed organically. The first few years of elementary school are the most important years to develop a child's education, for these few years will be the defining factor in any child's academic career.