Despite the fact the school year just starting I was already disheartened about my sophomore year, but I learned three important lessons that helped me make it through.
1. Don't procrastinate.
By the time the year started, I had already turned in all of my summer work for three of my classes late, making the first few grades I had 70s and below. By the second week of school, I had been tested and quizzed in every class that required them. I learned I earned the highest grade in class for our first test in AP World History despite being told we were going to struggle a lot on it. I got an 84 percent on it. This was the only test that I would pass with a B after that.
I guess it was just beginner's luck. It didn’t take me long to run out of this so called luck either as I soon ended up struggling way more than I should have with this class. I had nights when I stayed up past midnight and would go days of only three to five hours of sleep because of this class alone. This was due to procrastination and a lack of will power on my part. I would use anything to get me from doing homework for this class.
Even if I had the answers, I still wouldn’t use them because I was so used to avoiding them, and this ultimately destroyed my grade. Throughout the whole year, I knew what I was doing would affect me negatively, but I had ignored it and the consequences were my grades, my well-being and my parents' trust. I was constantly stressed because I knew when I got home, I would need to finish my work for this class and I never did.
2. Giving up will only make you feel worse.
To me, there's a difference between giving up and quitting.
Quitting would imply that you've been fed up by your surroundings and with the people around you. An example of this would be when I quit track and field. Track and field was what I considered a filler sport. It was just something I had to do to get me to exercise more and use up the excess time I had. They asked us to work at the team for at least two months before deciding to end training. I quit after two.
But during those two months, I learned a lot about the sport and how strong of a runner I could be, if I actually enjoyed running. I didn't enjoy running; I found it very boring and tiring to run in circles almost everyday. But for two straight months I did it, and I made sure I tried my hardest so I could get the most out of my experience.
Overall what affected my decision to quit though was my lack of enjoyment for the sport. I would come home crying over the pain and stress from the lack of progress when I was giving my all to the sport. I didn’t really appreciate the effect the team and work had on my schoolwork and mental health, so I quit simply because it didn't feel worth the pain.
I felt guilty about it, but I was happy that I didn’t have to go deal with it anymore, and I was able to focus on my school work more.
Giving up would be when you fail to continue something despite knowing that it would benefit you, like when I didn't sign up for the editor position for my school magazine despite having everything needed to apply. I knew I would regret every moment after I missed the deadline for it, but I had given up on myself. I didn't see much use for me to apply in the first place because I thought it wouldn't be worth it, but I didn't even try so I will never know.
That is what makes the difference between giving up and quitting because quitting means you would have to start.
3. Do your best.
This is something everyone I know has told me at least once, and it's something that I haven't been able to apply to my everyday life very well from anything big to small.
There is only one thing that I've done this year that I believe I have given my all to, and it's the small short story I had to re-write for it to be accepted into the school magazine. It wasn't accepted due to other reasons, but there hasn't been anything else that I have worked on for myself with my all since that single piece of work.
It's a very minor accomplishment when looking at my year as a whole, but when I'm look back at it now, I can feel a sense of pride in myself for making something so wholeheartedly. If I hadn't given that piece of work what I consider my best effort then I don’t believe that I would’ve made the piece as far as my capabilities at the time allowed to me.
It allowed me to not regret it, unlike with my school work which was subpar in quality. This is what fuels my belief that doing your best keeps you from having regrets in life because if you’re doing all that you can, then it doesn’t leave room for you to doubt your capabilities since you used all of them anyway.