A few months ago, I made a post titled Nineteen. It featured some of my friends dressed up in flowery garlands. It symbolized Spring, a new semester and a brand new start. I ended the post thinking spring semester would be just as great as fall semester. Well, I can honestly say, spring semester blows.
I just received two out of my four grades and found out that I got one ‘C’. The thing about this grade was that I had actually worked really really hard in hopes that I would at least get a B for the class. I went to office hours, did all the extra credit, never missed a day of lecture… It’s tough seeing the outcome of something you worked so diligently on be so negative. I’m also fairly certain I will receive another C for a different class. Two A’s and possibly two C’s. Wow. This is heartbreaking for me. In high school, I never considered myself the super academic type but when I entered college, something inside of me just snapped. I became extremely ambitious to get a 4.0. But this semester, I feel so defeated. Now I understand why that one nerdy kid in math class would actually cry if he or she ever got a B on an exam. Oh God! I’m that nerdy kid now!
In this past year, I have folded up my past identity into a crazy origami crane. I’m very accomplished looking from the outside but I am still only a folded piece of paper. I’ve tucked away the person I used to be in order to change my outward appearance. I wanted more. I wanted better grades, a better GPA score and a hell of a lot more academic pride than I ever had in high school. But in doing all that, I forgot about art, writing, reading and even blogging. Things that made up my past life. Things I really enjoyed doing.
Being this intricate origami crane has been really challenging yet rewarding. With every fold and crease I have been able to change into something stronger and more confident. When I look at everything I’ve accomplished this year (got a part-time job, 4.0 fall semester, etc) I feel very happy. I feel proud of myself. But then I also make a mental checklist of all the things I haven’t accomplished (sketching, reading, blogging on WordPress, photography, etc) and feel this void. An emptiness I can’t help feeling guilty over. Am I being negligent? Do I prioritize somethings over others, if so, why? All of a sudden I’m in a tough position in my life where I see myself as a beautiful paper crane yet I have lost the ability to fly. I don’t know what defines me anymore, my wings or my outward appearance?
After seeing my horrific grade and reacting to it the way that I did, I have come to the conclusion that I strongly believe GRADES are what define me. A single letter. That is what makes up my magnificent crane physique. Having just written that, I am laughing and crying at the same time. I’m laughing because it’s silly and crying because it’s the truth. Thats literally how I’ve framed my world this year. Note to self: grades do not define who you are. They are not what make you special or unique (or an origami crane). Yes, they matter but only to a certain extent. I’m just going to have to train myself to “let things go”. Everything will work out in the end. Life isn’t over. Go paint a picture, whip out that camera now coated with dust and for the love of God, read a damn book that you actually enjoy! That new paper crane isn’t gonna fold itself.