"Average."

This is the one word I often use to describe my experience as a student. My academic career has been very short of extraordinary and this is not due to the fact that I don't want to be a phenomenal student, but rather due to the fact I am uncertain that I really know how to do.

I have said for a rather long time now that I am not sure I want to date someone who is overly smart. My dating pool is wide open and being someone who identifies as bi in terms of gender I don't know boundaries, but the one boundary I have always wondered if I should put up was one of intelligence. Seeing as I always felt grossly inferior in my academic career, I didn't want that to transfer over into any relationships. I strive for equality in every aspect of my relationships whether that my friendships, romantic relationships, or even working relations. I figured that dating someone who was overly smart would eliminate all hope of ever having a coexistence of equality.

As I grew up, I watched as the academic world around me begin to shift. In middle school, these ideas of honors classes got introduced to me. I am eighteen years old, and graduating high school in 65 days and have never before taken an honors class. It was truly something that never even seemed remotely applicable to me when I was younger. I simply wasn't the honors kind. I always struggled to pull my D's to C's and then perhaps to pull my C's to B's.

There were the few subjects that I felt I really excelled in, such as English and theater, where I usually had a relatively high grade. The other A's I had were a mirror image of all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears I had poured into my studies. They were like trophies for the long hours I spent pouring over my books. I wore them like medals around my neck.

I received the A/B my junior year for my hard work. It is something I have put on my resume and I often use as a proof for why I am qualified to be in certain positions. However, I realize that many people share this same feat. As a matter of fact, it really isn't uncommon to make A's and B's. In a lot of families, it is simply expected. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth for me. When I got C's, it truly in my heart of hearts was my best.

That C was a reflection of who I was, or who I allowed the academic system to define me as which was average.

I can say with honesty that when I did my work, studied my papers and put the time in only to receive a C or D on my test, it was the result of my best work. I had tried my very best and a C is what I had gotten out of it. I had received this grade because average is what I really and truly was.

However, I've come to realize I am a whole lot more than my grades. My grades and academics overall have serve as a massive inconvenience for me as opposed to a help. I know many people who use grades as their tool, their one form of success in life.An outstanding score on the ACT or SAT coupled with a high GPA is their ticket to free college and a good job. Their academics offer them a life of luxury. However, for me, my academic career has been bumpy and really served as nothing more than a hindrance to me. It has thrown obstacle after obstacle my way and unfortunately I have been unable to hurdle many of those obstacles.

I was faced with the grim fact that I might not go to college. Perhaps no college would accept me. My ACT score was struggling and to get out of the teens and my GPA was moderately average. I received letter after letter of rejection when I began applying for colleges. Most colleges offered alternative courses or special admissions on academic probation, but ultimately the words we don't want you seemed to ring loud and clear in my mind.

So, a word to the honor students. I love you and I do respect you.

Many of you are people I hold dear to my heart. Some of my greatest friends, closest family members and helpful mentors have been apart of this sacred community of honor students. I think what you're doing is important and you truly are helping the world.

However, in the midst of paving your way to academic success and overall greatness in life, please realize that there are people around you who are just as smart. They are just as smart but don't reap all the rewards that you do. Our college isn't free. As a matter of fact, a lot of us are struggling just to get in.

Our minds may be slower, but that doesn't mean they don't operate just as well.

We won't get to put that coveted Honors Student title on our resumes or use it for benefits in college.

We won't get to exempt courses due to our previous work and all the college material we did in our high school years.

We won't have outlandish scholarships thrown our way or get honored in front our entire school as Valedictorian.

However, we are trying our very best either way it goes.

We may go on to be painters, writers, screenplay adapters, managers, mothers, fathers, directors, poets, actors, entertainers, or maybe even teachers. So when we ask questions in class or need a little extra time, try not to roll your eyes too hard. Don't degrade people just because they weren't born blessed with the same privilege you inherited. Know that intelligence is a gift and to use it to spite those who might be slower than you is a waste. It serves as an unfairness to the one you are spiting or sneering at as well as to yourself.

We will get it eventually, but it might just take a little more time than it does for you.

Have patience and realize that you could indeed use your knowledge for good, to help someone else who is lagging behind.

I am indeed attending college. I will be going to the University of Alabama in the fall of 2018. I will come in through an academic program that caters to people like me. The work towards this dream of mine has certainly been a bit of an uphill battle. I have shed many tears throughout the entire experience of trying to find a school and watched with slight bitterness as the Honors Students in my school were offered outlandish scholarships and rewards. I felt like a beggar watching a feast be eaten right before my own eyes.

However, just because I took a longer route in my journey does not mean I will not end up in the same destination as the individuals in that coveted Honors Program. Many of them are going to the same school I am in the future as it is the biggest one in the state and if not that exact school, somewhere similar.

Please know I am proud of you, Honor Students. You have achieved something amazing and you deserve all the rewards you are getting. However, please keep in mind that as you move forward with your outstanding endeavors that there are people like me who are watching from the shadows ready to do great things as well. We really are trying and poking fun at people like me or degrading us for not being what you are really doesn't help much as a matter of fact, it really only hinders.

From the bottom of my heart, I say congratulations. Have patience and if at all possible, help. Help when you see us struggling instead of poking fun or making complaints that we are slowing the class down. This can most likely be avoided if you join with us to try your very best to work with us as a team and as a unit. We are here and human and trying our very best. Congrats on the scholarships though.