Am I good enough? Last year, this question wasn’t far from my mind. As a new student, coming to Phillips Academy can be terrifying, and for many reasons. As a Junior last year, I was awestruck by the the vast quantity of knowledge that surrounded me. Prior to being accepted at PA, many of us stood out in our respective interests. However, when we get to Andover, most of us end up in the “Andover Average.” Freshmen do not realize how difficult it will be to is to break the cycle of mediocrity, because everyone seems like they can one-up you in every way. Because of the genuine talent and drive that Andover students bring to campus, our school is fiercely competitive. That is why they say that sixes are impossible. But, there are those who get the sixes. Why do some kids exceed the “Andover Average?” In my opinion, there is a definite reason why some students shine more than others. I discovered it in my Junior Winter. My Junior Fall, I resigned myself to the Andover Average. I accepted the belief that sixes are indeed unattainable. I put in only the bare minimum amount of work needed to get by. My transcript reflected back my Average efforts. During Winter Term, I experienced an epiphany. History was my best subject last year, and at the start of winter term, my teacher told me that I was bordering on a six. I was shocked. My parents were not. Like many Andover parents, they were of the mindset that sixes are an entirely plausible grade for their child to receive. Straight As were not a problem back home, so why should they be here? For a lot of students, that is a pretty laughable concept. Sixes take work, a fact I became very familiar with during Junior Winter as I strove for my six. A significant amount of effort, good time management and violent determination were all necessary to get what I wanted. Contrary to popular belief, genius is not perquisite of achieving a six. We all have our strengths. New students have to remember that the school believes in them. They were admitted for a reason. They saw something special in each and every one of us. Though terribly clichéd, it is true that they do believe in us, more than we know. The Bottom Line: For new students, even if you do not stand out at first, there is still hope. You are good enough. That is why you are here. But the quicker you find your niche, the better off you are. It is a strangely wonderful rat race. Raeva Kumar is a two-year Lower from Poughquag, NY.