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Academic Failure & Grades

In the city that I live, our school starts in about a month or so, but I can’t help but feel anxious. I know that the current situation makes it even more difficult, but I’m also worried about school in an academic aspect and the pressure that comes with getting good grades. I will be starting junior year this fall which makes things all the more worse as these marks will be looked at when applying for universities in the future.

I can’t help but ask, why do grades even matter? Why is school all about test scores and passing grades? Why are grades the only piece of evidence to show that we’ve learned something? Why do we always hear that grades don’t define you but, when we get a grade below our expectations, we cry in fear as if it’s the end of the world? I suppose that in school we were trained that way, to believe that good grades equal to success and lifelong happiness. But it could only be farther from the truth.

But it’s not like I myself haven't played into this myth either. We all have at some point in our academic lives. For me and many other students, our self-worth is dependent on our grades. If we receive marks below expectations, we feel like a disappointment, a failure, and an all-time idiot. We have this perception of failing to be a horrible thing, when in reality, it shows that you’re getting closer and closer to success.

Our education system has taught us how to study and how to get good grades, but they haven't taught us how to deal with failure, which is both sad and surprising. Failing in school doesn’t make you less intelligent than others. It’s all about the way you respond to it and redirect yourself for the future. As a high school student, I know how upsetting it can feel, but I believe that changing your mindset can really provide a different perspective and help you come out stronger on the other side.

You have to stop thinking that you’re a failure but rather a person with a solvable problem. You have to stop thinking that a bad test mark means the end of the world but rather an opportunity to reflect upon. But that doesn’t mean you should brush off your feelings. Acknowledge them and allow yourself to feel disappointed but don’t dwell on it, as you have to move forward. Also, it’s very important to NEVER compare yourself to others. That will only make things worse and it will only lead to further negativity towards yourself and your self-worth. I think that these are the most important things when dealing with an academic failure or any failure in general.

You are worthy of success. Though you may feel as though you’ve failed, the real test is simply in how you move forward from there. There are no real failures. I know it’s tough. I know it isn't fun. But you know what, there WILL be something positive that arises from the situation. You may just not see it yet.

~ I wish every student good luck and hoped this helped in some way:)

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