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There comes a time in life where you have to learn to trust yourself. If a person carefully prepares then they can’t fail. The more challenges I face I tell myself “You got this, you have been preparing for this a long time, trust yourself.”
At the age of nine I knew I wanted to win my school’s spelling bee. I’m not sure what caused me to have a sudden interest in spelling bees considering Little Flower Prep School held it annually. Maybe it was the big gold trophies sitting in my living room reading “1st Place Spelling Bee Champion” with my sister’s name on it. Trophies are held with the utmost importance in my household because that’s the first thing people see when they walk into my house. My mother has a glass curio cabinet which holds my mother’s trophies for nursing and my sister’s spelling bee trophies. The only trophy I had in the cabinet was the one for a dance competition.
I decided that if my sister can spell a bunch of words and win first place why can’t I? I never liked taking on new challenges because of my fear of rejection. I thought to myself with one month away from the event that it wouldn’t be difficult since English was my favorite subject. Soon I was proven to be wrong, preparing for a spelling bee was a lot harder than I thought.
Every night that I finished my homework, I studied a lot of words: words I was familiar with, words I heard but never used before, and words from different origins such as Greek and French . From 7-10 p.m., my mother and I would go back and forth spelling words. Everytime I misspelled a word, she would send me back to my room to study some more and we would have to begin the three hour study session from the beginning.
As the day approached, I began to doubt myself. I had memorized and learned to sound out as many words as possible but I only had a month’s worth of preparation. Laziness was also getting to me because during those hours I studied, I was missing my favorite television shows such as “That’s So Raven”, “Drake & Josh” and “Zoey 101.” However, passing my sister’s four first place spelling bee trophies everyday was the reminder I needed as to why I was working so hard.
As I got dressed the day of the bee, I wore my hair pulled back with a striped bandeau, put on my school uniform and I wore my glasses. After I put on my uniform I was no longer nervous and was ready to face the bee. As time went by and many buzzers went off for many misspelled words by others, I realized it was just Jeffrey and I left on stage. As Jeffrey went up to the center to spell the word, I saw his legs began to tremble. Jeffrey had on his school uniform which was a white button down with black slacks. My uniform was similar to his except for a black striped skirt. The speaker said your last word is: “staphylococci.” As I heard the buzzer go off, I realized it was my turn. The speaker had informed me that Jeffrey had misspelled the word and if I could spell it correctly I would win first place.
“Can you say it in a sentence?”
“What was the origin of the word again?”
“May you repeat the word one last time?”
That was the last three questions I could think of asking the speaker who stared at me as she waited for my response.
“S-T-A-P-H-Y-L-O-C-O-C-C-I” staphylococci I said.
“Congratulations you are this year’s first place spelling bee champion of Little Flower,” said the speaker.
Happiness and relief was all that I felt as my mother came running to me. I could not stop smiling as I held my first place trophy in my hand on the ride home with my mother. Immediately as I walked in the house, I found a new place to put the trophy rather than next to my sister’s. I decided to place the trophy in my room, on my dresser, so it would be the first morning motivation I have every time I wake up. As I walk by my trophy every day and read my name instead of my sister’s, I am reminded that hard work does pay off.