Spring break is in full swing for everyone at the moment, as each person tries their very best to savor every single blissful moment of not being at school. In my case, I just returned from a camping trip with my family. However, I really don’t think I enjoyed the trip as much as I could have, because even though I was beyond happy to be out of school, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The car ride to the campground lasted about 5 hours. During the first hour, I couldn’t stop thinking about my grade in AP European History, the test that I have to take on the first day back from break, and how much I want to ace that test. The second hour consisted of me thinking about the chemistry quiz I took before going on break, and how I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. The car had rolled into the beautiful, peaceful Arizona desert by the third hour, but I barely noticed, because I was focused on estimating what my grade is in English class. Finally, I spent the last two hours in the car internally beating myself up about how I’m doing in algebra 2/trigonometry, because my grade is so bad that I feel nauseous whenever I think about it.
It’s not that I am some crazy nerd. It isn’t a matter of getting perfect grades. The problem is that I feel like I am not meeting the standards that I have created for myself. My personal expectations happen to deal with school, because my grades have never been too shabby. Everyone has their own set of expectations for themselves. Some people just have to be great at art, or dancing, or acting. Others have to be involved in every club, or play every sport. Everybody has to have a certain criteria set for themselves. because without expectations, nothing can be achieved.
However, when expectations aren’t met, well, the world just seems like a sad, sorry place. Everybody probably knows what it feels like, to not perform as well as you want to at something, and then feel like you fail at life. I know I felt like that, when my last algebra 2/trig. progress report was staring me in the face. All you want to do is a dig hole, crawl into it, and maybe tunnel to China, or somewhere far, far away. But that is just about the worst thing to do. Look at it as if you are playing a game of Monopoly. There are two things you can do when you feel like you are losing: flip the board and give up, or get your act together and keep playing until the very last second. Best choice: keep trying.
Logically, if you keep playing, your chances to win, no matter how slim it is, will still be there. If you give up and walk away, you know for sure that you will never win that game. The same goes for personal expectations. If you decide to quit when you feel like you just cannot get there, you certainly will never get there. If you continue to strive and push to reach your goals, it might take a little longer, but you might actually reach them. Even in the end, if you don’t meet your expectations, you at least know that you have tried your absolute best, and maybe your standards were just way too high.
I am not entirely sure if I meant to write this blog post as a rant about how I hate my grades, or as self-motivation to hit the books. It really doesn’t matter, though. I just simply want to say to whoever is reading this (and myself) that everyone has personal standards and goals, but it is not the end of the world to not meet your own expectations. The most important thing is to keep trying.