As my sophomore year comes to a close, I reflect on the past few months with a slightly sour taste. Sophomore year was a particularly difficult year for me, and the fact that I’m not exactly sure why bamboozles me.
Historically, my strategy of heavy procrastination, intense cramming, strong determination and strong friendships has allowed me to succeed very well. I admit, I should have known my strategy would fail sooner or later. It’s not so much that it failed, but that it was proven to be flawed. I learned that my strategy only works with Oprah-like teachers that pass out A’s like makeup samples. Unfortunately, this year my teachers went from Oprah-like, to Donald Trump-like, not really willing to give out anything that isn’t earned.
I suppose my fault came when I failed to adjust my strategy to my cast of teachers. That’s when my 4.0 fell off the face of the earth.
I was barely hanging on to it in the first place, because of two highly upsetting 89.45 averages from the previous semester, but then the Bs came flowing like a river. I was overwhelmed and distraught at my sudden failure. I thought my dream of being at the top of my class, the valedictorian, was dead and buried along with my failed quizzes from ninth grade. I didn’t realize that my dream had died long before my first 10th grade report card.
I complained to my peers as an unmotivated perfectionist would be expected to and told them of my plan to drop out of school and become a shepherd in Cambodia because I couldn’t handle the shame of not having a 4.0 and not getting into my dream schools, New York University and University of Southern California.
The paranoia that I wouldn’t succeed ate me alive all this year, to the point where I ceased to care about my grades. I had unknowingly forced myself to believe that I would never be the best, so why stress about it? It finally clicked that my high school grades weren’t the only thing that mattered as far as getting into the schools I dreamed of, and definitely not the most important thing to enter the workforce. I realized that it was more imperative that you are a well-rounded person that has pretty good grades but also has some substance and a solid personality. I found out that the only thing that transfers from high school to post-college life is work ethic, not whether you know geometry.
As I go on to junior year, my most important year in high school academically, I plan to readjust my ineffective strategy and get my act together, so I get what I want from this educational institution. I plan on downloading Google Maps and finding my 4.0 again.