how to get through school and keep your self-worth intact


So, here I am sitting at University. It’s my first week back, I’ve already had one exam and an assignment due PLUS I have another one due on Monday. Subjects I either have NEVER studied, or haven’t studied for 5 years at least. So how do I feel? Stressed? Crying? Like I want to hide in my room all day?
If I was back in high school…maybe that would’ve been the case. Assessment, essay, exam..these words brought dark clouds over me. No one likes them. Even if I felt like I studied hard, my results were never as good as they “should’ve" been.
Teachers said in English class - “She writes like a man.” Final exam results = NA-NA-A-A-NA (For you non-NZers, think D-D-C-C-D) Science class - "She just needs to study more" = A-A-M-A
Math was the same.
I was friends with amazingly intelligent people. They studied too, did their homework too, and it reflected in their stellar grades. I admit, in a school system so focused on academic achievement, I felt a little ashamed and worthless. I was a not-achiever in english, an average student in science. Hey, I will admit, I shined in design and music. But the subjects that “mattered”..
So I felt that I was dumb. Stupid. Unintelligent. I wouldn’t have a successful career, job, qualification. These subjects weren’t for me. I would never understand them.
Then I went to the USA as an exchange student. Granted, the American school system is a bit easier than ours. But I thrived! In a topics such as English or History where I had previously “struggled”, I was receiving high A’s and being asked if I wanted to move up to the AP (advanced placement) classes. I was a straight A student. I hadn’t had such high grades since I began high school. I BELIEVED I could study enough, I could remember facts, I could do all these things I had come to the conclusion I was incapable of. I thought maybe it was just the schooling there, multi-choice tests, easier marking but I am now learning it wasn’t just that.
Now I am at NZ university…and I am getting just as good results.
I was so scared to start University here. The thought of New Zealand schooling brought a shadow of fear and anxiety over my mind and I was so apprehensive because of my past experiences with NCEA, which is supposed to prepare you for University. However right now, I am coming to terms with the idea that maybe I am not dumb and that those results I recieved aren’t a reflection of my actual intelligence.
Here at The University of Auckland, after not studying for 4 years, never studying anything business related before, all those things aside, I am getting A’s. In fact, I have got more A’s so far than I got in my final half year of high school here. And I am abslutely kicking myself for how I percieved myself because of my grades in high school.
In some book I’ve never read, there’s a quote I found online that reads:
“Just because you used to be doesn’t mean you have to be.”

I have learned:
-grades are not final judgements.
-grades are not your level of worth.
-grades are not of anything except how well you remember/understand/retain kowledge of a concept at the time of the test/assignment etc. Aka the quote. Just because you didn’t understand something once doesn’t mean you won’t understand something in the future.
-always always always try again and if you like something, just do it, no matter the end result.
I was talking to one of those girls I went to high school with who was extremely academically orientated. She still is, but doesn’t let it define her self-worth or level of intelligence anymore either. She hadn’t studied as well as she should’ve for an exam, but she just laughed it off, saying she’ll do her best.
So learn to laugh it off and just simply do your best.


You Might Also Like


Popular Posts