I went from being a slight under-achiever who really didn't care too much about studying and grades to being an overachiever who went to the top of the class. I didn't really study or try hard during my 6th grade year. I was making mostly B's and C's (not that those were bad grades, but I just was not working up to my potential). At the end of my 6th grade year, there was an honors program for all students who had maintained a certain Grade Point Average throughout the year. I had earned this GPA (3.0) just one quarter out of the year, but was hopeful that it would be enough for me to still be inducted into this honor society.
I fretted and fantasized about being inducted into this society all weekend. So I came to school dressed up that day, and after the teacher called the names of all of the students who were on the list and who could be dismissed from class to go to the honors program, she looked at me, saw that I was dressed up, saw the look on my face and said, "Your name is not on here."
I was devastated, but it was at that moment that I was motivated to work extremely hard and never ever miss out on any Honor Society. That next year in 7th grade I was inducted into National Junior Honor Society and earned numerous academic awards and honors. These academic achievements continued through graduate school.