It has been a while since I woke up in the morning and felt emotionally and mentally ready to start my school day. The thought of school brings so much anxiety and worry into my life; from friends, to teachers, to assignments, to grades. It never is easy.
I worry about what people think of me, I worry about the things I say and how I look. I also worry about my grades– I never find myself having the motivation to study a little harder or look over my notes a second time, and that reflects on my numbers.
Seeing numbers on a screen has a frighteningly debilitating effect on me. I loose my breath, my body droops, and any sense of happiness I had shatters.
This is the reality for too many kids like me. We are defined by numbers, and we care because we’re told we have to. But it’s all too easy to tell kids to stop worrying so much, that grades don’t mean anything. That is definitely true, but it doesn’t lower the stakes.
Based on my own experience with grades, I’ve compiled the methods that help me the most when I’m feeling anxious.
Find Out What You Can Do
There’s no shame in emailing or talking to your teacher to find out what you can do to raise your grade. Most teachers will even appreciate their students taking initiative. But remember, don’t be accusatory or obsessive. If there’s nothing you can do for your current grade, accept that and make plans for the future.
Figure Out Your Endgame
Based on your current grade and how many weeks you have until the end of the semester, figure out what grade you’re happy to end with. Based on this, you can estimate the grades you need to get in the future to raise your grade a reasonable amount.
Set Your Own Goals
If your parents are holding you to a standard that you simply can’t reach, have a conversation with them. Let them know your situation and how you will try your best in the future.
If you’re feeling terribly anxious, you don’t need to think about school. Do something you like to get your mind off of it. Write, take a walk, draw, talk to your friends– anything that will help you feel better.
Reflect On The Past
If you’re anything like me, you get your papers and tests back with teacher’s notes that you never read. Take a look at them and find out what you can work on. It’s a great start to getting better grades.
Time Doesn’t Stop
Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots once sung: “The sun will rise, and we will try again.” You don’t need to get it right every time. The clock doesn’t stop ticking, and opportunities won’t stop coming. Find the motivation to keep trying, even if you don’t do it as well as you want every time.
It’s funny the amount of power that numbers can have over so many lives. Some people experience success in the school system and others don’t. However, you don’t need to be a genius to get the grades you want. You just have to not let it get to you.
Featured Image: Kansas City Public Schools