The importance of taking responsibility


Skyler Simpson

An inspirational poster in third floor K-Pod.

I’ll start this piece off by exposing myself – I’ve never been very responsible.

Whether it came to organization or remembering things, I was never the best. From a young age, my mom and my teachers banded together in an attempt to make me feel liable for something. In third grade, my memory skills (or lack thereof) caused my teacher to put my desk next to the most organized person in class. This same person is our lovely editor-in-chief. Alexis would put little multi-colored sticky notes on her desk in order to keep track of the assignments we had to complete.

All was fine for a while, until little third grade Skyler became a prime example of the phrase “too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing at all”. I littered my desk with unimportant doodles and notes within a week. A few days later, I was moved away into the corner.

This same irresponsible nature continued in fourth grade, where my mom made the teacher physically check my backpack every single day to make sure I was bringing my important papers home. In sixth grade, it escalated when I failed my first quiz. Granted, it was a pop quiz, but because I hadn’t taken it upon myself to review, my grades suffered.

Although a large sense of guilt began to fall on my shoulders, I still didn’t change my ways. It’s like I refused to put effort into something unless I was getting something out of it. Good marks in school weren’t a strong enough incentive for me, much to the dismay of my family. I began to feel like the poster child of disappointment and wasted potential.

I’d really like to say that this is some heroic story of learning how to be responsible for myself, but it’s not. Even to this day, I still label myself as wasted potential. Ask any of my friends, family, or even teachers – I have trouble finding papers, homework assignments go undone, and my memory is pretty bad.

I’m writing this article because I need to change.

This semester is the end of my high school journey, and although I know the diploma is mine, I really need to get it together. Although I may have an incentive (the ability to exempt my finals), it needs to mean more than that to me. And as I start this journey, I encourage you to do the same.

The first step is taking responsibility for the place you’ve put yourself in. If you’re anything like me, you may be stuck in a loop of wanting to change and not doing anything about it. Realizing that this situation is probably your fault will likely give you that extra push to change. I’ve come to the belief that I owe it to myself to be better, to do better.

I understand that even the smallest tasks can be daunting, but knocking them out one by one is the best way to go. Make a list of the things you need to complete – whether it be a homework assignment or cleaning your room. The wave of overwhelm comes when you try to get things done all at once, or you think that you need to get from point A to point Z in a matter of minutes. Yes, I said point Z. There’s a lot of steps that you have to take to get to where you want to go, and it’s not a direct route.

From there, you just have to commit to consistency. If you don’t push yourself each and every day to create a real change in your life, you’ll just stand still. The first few days, weeks even, are the hardest, but after you get through that, habits begin to form. If you start hustling, you’ll become more responsible, and your general quality of life will improve.