For as long as I can remember I have always been that overachieving student in every single class. Yes, I was that irritating kid who got upset when she got a 98 instead of 100 on an exam. I trained myself to accept the best or work harder next time to improve. High school was competitive but in the end I came out satisfied with my academic achievements. I got to college and did great my first semester of freshman year. My second semester brought on an unforgiving course known as BIO 202. I was confident that I could walk away from the class with at least an A-. As the title of my article suggests, I couldn’t have been more wrong about that.
I’m not a procrastinator. I took proper notes. I turned in quality homework assignments. I studied for exams weeks in advanced. I certainly didn’t put in all this work to see a big, fat, ugly ‘D’ on my transcript. I was definitely angry for the first few days. Angry like, “if you so much as breathed in my direction you’d win a free death glare,” angry. My first bad grade on my transcript was certainly memorable but it turned out to be the good kind of memorable.
It took a bad grade for me to realize that I was forcing myself down a path I didn’t genuinely want. I was pushing myself through chemistry and biology and soon organic chemistry and physics, requirements for the applications to medical and dental schools. I was interested in going into the health-related field but I wasn’t passionate about it. Anything forced never feels right and it took 18 years for that to really sink in.
As the days of summer vacation continued on, I realized more and more that getting through those classes wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to enjoy the classes I was paying for. Natural sciences were completely out of the question. I hate math with a passion and the stars and planets are inspiring and all but I wasn’t looking to fall asleep in Astronomy lectures. I was extremely interested in art and media and found that the classes needed for this field were guaranteed to always keep me intrigued and happy.
Doing absolutely terribly in BIO also showed me that I needed to stop denying the writer in me. Why I had ever decided to ignore my ability was beyond me and I kicked myself mentally for not realizing it sooner. I had been writing independently since middle school and was always good at it. I zoomed through two unpublished self-written novels before I even got to the 10th grade. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and writing was something I always chose to do in my spare time. Performing badly in this class showed me that I obviously wasn’t good at what I thought I was good at, so I should turn to what I knew I was good at.
We like to think that everything will go according to our current state of mind but the truth is that our failures happen for a reason. Yeah, failing miserably at something sucks and makes you want to hide in a hole and never come out, but just wait for that light at the end of that cold, dark tunnel. I’m not going to be a dentist anymore, but with all the amazing exposure and experience I’m gaining from my new classes, I will become something that is ten times better in my mind.