Worthless. Useless. Stupid.
I can’t stop the voices in my head. I don’t know where it happened but somewhere along the way my self worth got tied up with my grades. I know it’s nonsensical but I feel the misery fall over me anyway.
Maybe it’s because I used to have the impression that schoolwork was all around easy, so now that my grades are slipping, I’m mad at myself because this is not supposed to be hard. And I know what that must mean … I am stupid.
Maybe it’s because I’m not pretty and I suck at sports. So … schoolwork. Grades. I decided I’d be the “nerd” – the “smart one”. Maybe not so much in those words, but that became my niche. It was something I was good at … something to be proud of.
Maybe it’s because I have a fierce sense of independence and want a scholarship badly so that my parents don’t have to pay for me. And that means …. grades, grades, grades.
Maybe it’s because I used to have better grades and everyone expects them from me because I’m smart. So now that maybe I’m not quite so smart anymore … something must be wrong. I can’t simply be a normal person intellectually who happened to do well in some assignments.
It must be that I’ve been lazy.
And it’s rather true. I haven’t studied half as much as I could have. If I’d studied more, would I have gotten better grades? Maybe. Probably.
Shouldn’t I just study harder then? That’s the answer, isn’t it … study so hard that I HAVE to achieve full marks and I escape that debilitating sense of failure?
There are some people who just don’t seem to care about grades. There are some people … I can’t imagine them going home and staring at textbooks miserably because they thought I should have studied more. I am a useless person. I wish that I could be like those people.
Good grades are … good, I suppose. They can show you are a hard worker. They typically show you have skills such as critical thinking and a good memory. And, they lead the way to university, which can lead to higher paying jobs and an intellectually stimulating and informative experience.
But …. it’s so frickin hard to aim for good grades. Heck, it’s hard to get good grades for the majority of people. But then, to get good grades you typically have to study. And to find motivation to study, you need to have big dreams.
Big dreams like … “I want good grades.”
But big dreams are like a weight around your neck. The sheer pressure of it all can break you. Big dreams … they can crush you.
You can’t control grades … not entirely. And if you don’t achieve the grade you were aiming for, or if you don’t get full marks, or whatever – you’re not a failure.
But you still feel like one. I know I do.
In an ideal world, we would judge our performances and ourselves solely on whether we did the best we could … or we did better than we did before. But that can’t be quantified.
Some people are ok with grades. Some people even thrive on them. But they can be dangerous. There’s the good about grades, and the bad … and then there’s the ugly.