Personal Statement: Jonathan Victorica (Class of 2017)

Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

Ever been hit from behind by an 18 wheeler? I have, well figuratively that is. From the beginning of my academic career, I’ve always strived to get the best grades I could. Throughout high school, I was accustomed to seeing grades above Cs and GPAs above 3.8. High school Physics was the truck that hit me.

From day one, the strictly math-based curriculum coupled with the teacher’s aloof teaching style set me on the course of failure. I knew the language of math well, but the complex functions and situations in the class confused me. It also didn’t help that I took Photography the same year I took Physics. Photography demanded that I employ abstract disciplines that varied from the more linear and absolute disciplines of physics. Thinking in two very different ways in the same day made my logic as useful as a dull knife. The constant bombardment of lackluster test scores didn’t help either. Sixty, fifty, fifty, forty percent. How could my academic prowess be demolished like that?

I was engulfed by anxiety and frustration. I felt diminished and feeble; brutally stricken by a coalition of numbers and universal constants. I no longer wanted to feel that sting. I needed change.

There was nothing I could do about photography. I needed the credits. I did decide however to forget my pride, and seek help from my aloof, yet caring teacher. I came to school an hour before anyone else for weeks on end to mend my broken logic. I also painstakingly completed every homework assignment to reap the benefits. During my struggle, my mom’s words rang incessantly: “The lazy man works twice”.  Fueled by this motivation, I gradually saw the test scores and overall grade rise steadily like a helium-filled balloon.  

By the end of the year, I had mastered the majority of the content. Working with my teacher had taught me to slow down and carefully analyze the problems I faced; both in Physics and in real world situations.  Although I may be lazy sometimes, I’ll be sure to never work twice in academics.