It was my Junior year in highschool and I was 17 in Mr. States U.S History year long class. I remember a year prior to taking the course that social studies was always my worst subject. I had already expected to fail without even taking the class yet. When I spoke to a fellow classmate older than me, she said, “Good Luck with that class, it’s too many notes!” From that point forward I knew what was coming for me. The most important year of highschool was going to be difficult if I had not passed that class with a good grade. My possibilities of passing the class was quite low.
Going on to my Junior year at Maine South, I was introduced to Mr. States and he was very organized and enthusiastic about his teachings and the notes he had given for homework. The beginning was amazing because I understood everything I did all my notes and reviewed here and there; but when it came to the tests I always failed (and I still do). After the first semester there were many days and nights where I would stay up late to catch up with the notes I missed, so before the tests and quizzes came I was somewhat prepared. I knew that to have a decent grade I would have to have a “C” average to be able to maintain a good GPA, but at the end of the first semester I dropped significantly to a “D.” Having a “D” to me really felt like I had failed not only myself but my teacher as well.
Second semester came along and notes were getting longer and longer, I was also getting lazier and lazier as time passed. As I lacked motivation to raise my grade and try harder, my grade had dropped to an “F”. An “F” was completely unacceptable to me, I had never received an “F” in my whole high school experience (so far). I kept ditching notes for friends and going out late at night and coming back tired, unwilling to do any work for that class in specific. I got my life together after having a midlife crisis and I decided to seek help and start from scratch. I redid all my notes and caught up with my notes and homework. Because of this, I canceled many plans I had, I missed many hours of sleep, and my hands were very sore. At some points I felt like giving up and I asked myself, “is this really worth it?” I thought back to when I planned to go to a good university and graduate with good grades. Unfortunately this class was definitely collapsing right in front of my eyes and holding me back.
Obviously my class was worth it and so was my grade, I pushed forward until one day I was put on the spot of having to choose between going out and having a good time on a fine Thursday afternoon, or stay in and be 100% ready for the test the next day which meant either “passing” the class with maybe a F+. I really struggled to make a decision and I kept thinking how I could possibly pass the class and be able to go out the next day with no pressure. My friends were anxious and ready to have a nice afternoon/night. I got home that Thursday afternoon, I took a deep breath and came to conclusion that my grades are more important than something that was temporarily making me happy. I spoke to a few people about it and some told me to wing it and quizlet everything; my boyfriend gave me some advice to prioritize my responsibilities and pass with an acceptable grade. I took both sides into consideration and recognized how irresponsible I was being and how my actions were totally unacceptable, and I decided that I was determined to gain control over my future grade.
I somehow managed to make modifications to my notes so I wouldn't be up so late and still be able to recollect the information off of the textbook. I went through a second crisis when I hit my fifth page of notes, but I did not give up. I distributed all my worksheets into separate piles to make it seem as if it was not so bad, but I couldn’t convince myself of that either. As I kept writing and reading, my fingers began to sting.I really could not take the pressure of it and I took a five minute break to cool down and get it together. After my actual 20 minute break, I managed to come back to being focused on what really mattered. After about 3-4 hours the pain came to an end and I felt so much better about it. I felt very proud and verified all my work to make sure it was test worthy, and everything seemed to look amazing. I saw how content my friends were in the pictures but I felt satisfied that I may possibly raise my grade the next day and have the opportunity to seek more help and be where I have to be as a student.
After taking the test on Friday I mostly knew what I was doing, but I did have a bad feeling about something. That following Monday I constantly checked the portal to see if my grade was in or not. I was extremely anxious because I wanted to know if what I did was worth it or not. I managed to log on the portal that night and surprisingly my grade went up by maybe 2 points, which means I probably did not do as good as I expected to do. I clicked on the assignment and there it was.. “C.” That7 was better than I thought I would ever do in any test in that class. I decided that if I obtained maybe a few more points- I could possibly get that “F” up to a “D” and then maybe a “C,” but it was too late in the semester and all I could do was pray that I pass the class with a 60 or higher.
At the end of this process I realized that if I set my mind to something it could lead to better results expected. I know how difficult this class was going to be from the very beginning and I somehow managed to raise my grade up from a 52 to a 62. Hopefully my next test does not bring it back down again. This was a lesson and an opportunity for me to have my priorities set before I do anything else. I had to make a decision and because of that decision my grade is now higher and I am considered to be passing. Although I am not proud of that grade, I do feel relieved because I know I've been trying my hardest to keep up and be productive, I may not be an “A+” student but I can try and by trying anything is possible. Overall, the decision I made allowed for my grade to be higher than I ever thought I could get to. Being responsible and caring is very important not only in my future but in everyone else's too.