An exemplary student in my class would be willing to actively participate in discussions and to further develop their academic abilities. I think a truly exemplary student may not always be the same thing as an A+ student. Effort is more meaningful to me than achievement.
I enjoy working with people who have different backgrounds and experiences to my own. My military service gave me an incredible appreciation for what individuals with no previous commonality can achieve when they coordinate their time and effort toward a goal. Additionally, I believe spending time around others from different backgrounds and from different cultures provides for a more interesting and happier life.
In hindsight, I would worry less about the future and focus more on the moment at hand. I have always been one to plan ahead, but I have yet to ever reach the end of a five-year plan without making at least two major changes. Despite failing to follow any previously planned paths, my life is still fulfilling and joyous.