Growing up, both of my parents put a lot of pressure on me to do well in school. If I had to be honest, they were strict on everything but especially school and grades. Both of my parents are Asian immigrants, which basically meant that they pushed me so hard to ensure that I had an easier and better life than they did. To them, school was the most important thing. When I was younger, I resented it. I hated it and I'm sure if you had asked me, I would have said I hated them too. It always felt that nothing I ever did was good enough. If I received a 'B' then I got a huge lecture about how I didn't try enough and how I only cared about my friends. If I received an 'A', it wasn't "good job, I'm proud of you" but rather "get more A's" or just a simple nod. I remember at one point, I was in fourth or fourth grade and I received straight 'Bs' on my report card and my dad got me a tutor. Emphasis on, I was in fourth grade.

As my childhood progressed, I was constantly compared to other kids. It became about how my cousin was so smart and I should be like him. Or how their friend's daughter was in all advanced classes but I wasn't. Trust me when I say that I felt like I was never good enough for my parents. From the time that I was very young, my parents constantly pushed me to be better and to be smarter.

By the time I entered high school, it was no longer them pushing me to do better but rather, myself. I would stay up late all night studying, much to my dad's disapproval and constant lectures when he'd catch me taking notes at 2 a.m. I elected to take several Advanced Placement classes throughout high school, pushing myself to do more and to do it well. I pushed myself to get better grades, attempting to receive only A's in order to graduate summa cum laude. Throughout my four years of high school, I didn't miss one homework assignment. I never skipped school, unless I was so sick that I felt like I was dying. In the end, I pushed myself harder than my parents ever would have pushed me. My hard work paid off and I managed to graduate summa cum laude and later attend Florida State University.

Crazily enough, I push myself harder now in college than I did in high school, or ever before. At most, I allow myself one 'B' per semester. I push myself so that my GPA won't drop. I'm that girl who gets upset, possibly cries, when she receives a 'B' on an exam. To me, an 'A-' isn't good enough. Anything that's not an A lowers my GPA, even if it's just by a little. At times, it can get uncomfortable when I talk to people about how I'm upset that I didn't get the grade I wanted. "So what, you got a 'B'? That's great?" Yes, it's great for you but it's not great for me.

I'm sorry that I try harder than you, if not most people. I'm sorry that I care more about my grades than you. I'm that one girl who spends the entire weekend studying rather than going out. I'm that one girl who tries her best on every single assignment because one wrong grade makes the difference between an 'A' and an 'A-'.

If it wasn't for both of my parents (and their strict ways), I would not be where I am today. My first two years of college are completely paid for through scholarships. I'm also proud to say that after years of hard work, I will be graduating a year early.

I am incredibly grateful to both of my parents for instilling such a strong work ethic in me and constantly pushing me to be the best I can be.