Perfectionism

As you all know I am currently a student trudging through the depths of online schooling to get my degree in Creative Writing. I am now finding myself crying in front of my Chromebook staring at a 91 overall grade because I got a 77 on one assignment. I honestly had a breakdown that lasted twenty minutes that I needed my husband’s help to get out of because of one lousy grade.

 

Yup. Jackie, I don’t know why either. The talk with my husband helped me realize that I do this a lot. So much in fact that I remember doing this in middle school, high school, and I can even go back as far as elementary school. It is engraved in every fiber of my being when it comes to performance. If I didn’t get an A in school I was upset for the week, even if I hated the project in the first place. I once had a college professor tell his entire class that technically we would all fail his class if he didn’t have a bell curve the size of Jupiter. To be fair, he taught Astrophysics to community college students and none of us were really prepared for the three hours worth of physics homework every week, especially when pretty much half the class had never even taken physics. Myself included. But yet I passed with an A, which would have technically been a C.

My life is completely ironic. I want to teach, yet dislike when teachers give me bad grades. I wouldn’t mind giving bad grades myself, but think that I would “grade differently”. It’s like saying that you’ll never raise your kids they way others do because there is something you don’t like about their parenting. We all end up making mistakes in the end, so why are we so hard on ourselves?

For me, I think it started off with my parents telling me to work as hard as I could to not be like them, to do better than them. To do that I would have to get good grades and go to college and become something better than the laborers that they are. My father and I argue on many of my collegiate decisions. He would have preferred I become a pharmacist like several of my cousins. I think I would have ended up dead from the sheer amount of stress that they go through. I wanted to do something I loved. Something that from the time I was in third grade I picked because I knew I could continuously learn from it.  I picked writing because I don’t have to just be one person. I don’t always have to be an academic, or a fantasy writer, or a realist. I can just let everything flow onto the page and sort it out later. By NaNoWriMo standards, I have always been a pantster.

I guess what I am trying to convince myself is that being perfect doesn’t matter, that these grades don’t necessarily matter in the long run. To anyone that is currently struggling with this ideal school life scenario I am with you. Just remember that there is still life after a 70. As long as you have done your best and you are happy with the paper or project that is what matters most.

We are all perfect, even if our brains tell us otherwise.

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