Hi Margo, Rita, and Curtis,
Recently, I’ve been struggling in my physics and geometry classes; I’m worried about receiving poor grades in these classes and for my exams. Please help!
We have all read the infamous words: “Grades are now available on DAinfo. Have a great break!” In that moment, our innocent eyes are scarred. The dreaded pit-in-the-stomach forms. Palms sweat, throats dry, and legs shake. Phones are thrown against the wall. As DAinfo lags and fails to load, the anticipation bubbles within the depths of our souls. Perhaps, you take deep breaths as the page finally loads and suddenly, a short list of numbers manages to define you.
Sometimes, in my experience, those nine numbers — five course grades, three exam grades, and one, soul crushing overall average — feel like they represent all the sleepless nights, all the hours studying, and all the effort I spent over the course of the previous term. At times, those numbers also seem to define my character. But, hear the good news of the gospel, my friends: YOUR. GRADES. DON’T. DEFINE. YOU. Hear it, live it, and love it. Although at times this mantra is difficult to remember, it really is the truth.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times that grades are not soul crushing. Sometimes, grades can warrant celebration (did someone say Martinelli’s sparkling cider??). In that case, be proud of your success and that your hard work translated into an ideal set of numerical values. Just remember that grades can cause massive amounts of anxiety for the people you love, so remain aware of how others perceive your actions.
For all you underclassman, whose parents perhaps haven’t caught on to the whole ~they can access our grades online~ thing, do yourself a favor and keep it that way. Highkey it’s been four years and my parents still barely know that I even get grades at this school. On the other hand, for those of you whose parents do check your grades, or for those of you who willingly share your grades with your parents, there is always that inevitable, “What happened?” conversation.
I advise staying away from the classic and incredibly transparent lines, like: but EVERYONE failed that test, or, my teacher is out to get me. Our parents have been through high school before, and believe it or not, they see right through our cop outs. Instead, offer an: I’m going to meet with my teacher after break to ask about ways I can improve my class participation and study habits, and then actually do that! Not only will your parents been impressed by how proactive you are, but it will benefit you going into the next trimester.
Keep on keepin’ on,