"I promise I'm not stupid." These words have escaped my mouth more this semester than they ever have. In my multiple tutoring sessions that I have never needed before, I felt like I needed to prove to my tutor that I really am smart. I just don't get it. I went from being the salutatorian of my high school to sitting on a solid C in statistics. I went from never picking up a textbook to one hour of tutoring and three of studying every day, but my grades are still sub-par. I promise I'm not stupid.
I am crying as I am typing this article, because I know there are other college students out there who are feeling just as hopeless as I am. I know you may have added "I promise I'm not stupid" to your daily arsenal of defenses. As I reflect on my past of all A's and being labeled as intelligent, I think of what I have reassured others with so many times but have never told myself. You are more than a grade.
I know it's hard to see it right now, but you could never be stupid or be seen as such. You've worked hard, and you've made it to college and stayed with it. That's more than most people can say. Don't feel like you have to apologize for being like the average college student and passing your classes with a less than perfect score. At the end of the day, you are more than just smart, and when you graduate, people aren't going to remember your GPA, but they will remember your heart.
I know that you don't want to let your family down, but if they define you by a number on a paper, they are the ones who need to reevaluate. They will be proud of how much you have grown through this experience and of how many lives you have changed. Your parents will be proud to watch you walk across that stage no matter if you were a straight A or straight C student because they love you.
Your value is not correlated with your grade. Value comes from the lives you impact and the hearts you touch. It comes from the difference you make and the effort you have given. Your grade, no matter how low, does not devalue your life. You are amazing whether you are making As or Fs. I cannot explain how proud I am of you for fighting so hard and coming this far.
So, self, I know you aren't stupid. I know that, but if you were, it wouldn't matter. That isn't what's important here. I love you, kid.