Don't Judge Me Because I Care More Than You

I Push Myself Harder Than Most Students, Don't Judge Me Because I Care More Than You

I'm the girl who gets upset when she gets a 'B.'

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Growing up, both of my parents put a lot of pressure on me to do well in school. If I had to be honest, they were strict on everything but especially school and grades. Both of my parents are Asian immigrants, which basically meant that they pushed me so hard to ensure that I had an easier and better life than they did. To them, school was the most important thing. When I was younger, I resented it. I hated it and I'm sure if you had asked me, I would have said I hated them too. It always felt that nothing I ever did was good enough. If I received a 'B' then I got a huge lecture about how I didn't try enough and how I only cared about my friends. If I received an 'A', it wasn't "good job, I'm proud of you" but rather "get more A's" or just a simple nod. I remember at one point, I was in fourth or fourth grade and I received straight 'Bs' on my report card and my dad got me a tutor. Emphasis on, I was in fourth grade.

As my childhood progressed, I was constantly compared to other kids. It became about how my cousin was so smart and I should be like him. Or how their friend's daughter was in all advanced classes but I wasn't. Trust me when I say that I felt like I was never good enough for my parents. From the time that I was very young, my parents constantly pushed me to be better and to be smarter.

By the time I entered high school, it was no longer them pushing me to do better but rather, myself. I would stay up late all night studying, much to my dad's disapproval and constant lectures when he'd catch me taking notes at 2 a.m. I elected to take several Advanced Placement classes throughout high school, pushing myself to do more and to do it well. I pushed myself to get better grades, attempting to receive only A's in order to graduate summa cum laude. Throughout my four years of high school, I didn't miss one homework assignment. I never skipped school, unless I was so sick that I felt like I was dying. In the end, I pushed myself harder than my parents ever would have pushed me. My hard work paid off and I managed to graduate summa cum laude and later attend Florida State University.

Crazily enough, I push myself harder now in college than I did in high school, or ever before. At most, I allow myself one 'B' per semester. I push myself so that my GPA won't drop. I'm that girl who gets upset, possibly cries, when she receives a 'B' on an exam. To me, an 'A-' isn't good enough. Anything that's not an A lowers my GPA, even if it's just by a little. At times, it can get uncomfortable when I talk to people about how I'm upset that I didn't get the grade I wanted. "So what, you got a 'B'? That's great?" Yes, it's great for you but it's not great for me.

I'm sorry that I try harder than you, if not most people. I'm sorry that I care more about my grades than you. I'm that one girl who spends the entire weekend studying rather than going out. I'm that one girl who tries her best on every single assignment because one wrong grade makes the difference between an 'A' and an 'A-'.

If it wasn't for both of my parents (and their strict ways), I would not be where I am today. My first two years of college are completely paid for through scholarships. I'm also proud to say that after years of hard work, I will be graduating a year early.

I am incredibly grateful to both of my parents for instilling such a strong work ethic in me and constantly pushing me to be the best I can be.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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