My Grades Don’t Define Me

I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but, I was living a lie. My world used to revolve around academic achievements and extracurricular activities. My goal? To get that ”A” and be recognized for my hard work at the award ceremony at the end of the school year. That was the sole purpose of my high school career up until my senior year when I realized that my grades weren’t a reflection of who I was or what I had to offer.

Looking back at it now, I wish I would have acted differently, I wish I hadn’t worried so much. Ever since the day I began to attend high school the world began to tell me to get serious and quit playing around because the four years to come were crucial. Everyone always said that my grades  had to be a priority and that I was not to befriend those who were going down the wrong path, meaning those who didn’t get straight A. I remember feeling pressured to maintain a high GPA because I was told that if I didn’t colleges wouldn’t accept me, I often had nightmares of ending a semester with anything lower than a B. I recall feeling very accomplished every time I would get complimented because of my grades, I used to think I was all set to conquer the world, I thought I had it all.

To me, my grades were everything, they always seemed to speak so positively of me. I relied on them to get what I wanted, I counted on them to show off my good traits. That was all until recently when I stopped to take a look at those around me and noticed how unfairly they were being treated. I will never forget the undermining words a teacher said to one of my classmates, she was so quick to judge and tear appart his aspirations because he wasn’t the ideal good student. Her words shattered my picture perfect world, they made me see how naïve I had been to let a letter grade consume my life and control the way I was perceived. I was ashamed to be a part of the problem and so I decided to make a change. Academics aren’t everyone’s strong suit and so by no means should they be criticized and  not taken seriously because they don’t excel at mathematics.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”– said Albert Einstein

I was wrong to allow my grades define me and others. The truth is that being able to memorize a few formulas and historical events aren’t even close to being representative of an individual’s potential. There is so much more to a person than a letter grade and so I hope that both society and the education system can change its ways to not only appreciate great minds but all minds because we all have something to bestow upon this world.

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Neftali Cabrales
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An undergraduate student pursuing a Mass Communications/Journalism degree. Also loves musicals and deeply appreciates nap time.

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