two points. that’s how short i was by. two. small. points.
i’m currently sitting here, writing as a way to process my feelings and try to speak some good advice into my life. also trying hard not to cry. that’s a lie, i’ve already shed a couple of tears.
i’m finishing up the last week of undergrad, selling textbooks and packing and spending time with friends while counting down the days to graduation (five). i’m also waiting for my final exam grades to be posted. it’s one of the most stressful parts of the beginning of summer, waiting and watching as your GPA fluctuates before it settles, hopefully in a range that doesn’t induce a depressed netflix-binge (at least, for me).
the process is a little different this time, though, than it has been in the years past. this is my last round of finals of college, the last round of finals for a while (a year, at minimum). there’s a sense of finality, an added pressure to do well, because there won’t be following semesters to make up for my mess-ups.
it was supposed to be my “perfect 4.0 semester”. no shambliness, no mistakes, nada.
i’m sure you know where i’m going with this.
three days ago, i deduced that i needed a ninety-five in a particular class to make an A. a particularly low quiz average had led to the need for this nervously high grade. to get that 4.0… i needed that ninety-five. two days ago, i took that final. i walked out of the room thinking to myself that i had gotten the A. this morning, i woke up to a notification that i had made a ninety-three. ninety-three on final… 89.77 in class. no rounding.
as soon as i saw that number, my mind froze. i’m not getting an A? what do i tell my mom. what happened? this isn’t my 4.0 semester? what do i tell my mom? why did i not get a ninety-five?
as soon as i saw that number, my thoughts started attacking me. all of those feelings of not being good enough, of being a failure, of self loathing began to bubble up. janet, what is wrong with you. why didn’t you work just a little harder? you’re so stupid, janet. you’re not good enough. you couldn’t even manage to get two more points.
just a few days ago i was saying the words “numbers mean nothing. you are smart. the number don’t matter. GPA isn’t everything. MCAT isn’t everything. there is so much more to life and becoming a doctor and pursuing your future than focusing on those numbers.” and i really meant it.
even yesterday at church, pastor Jimmy reminded us that all of our needs are satisfied already in Christ, and i nodded along emphatically, thanking God that all my needs were provided for before i even knew i needed them. my life wasn’t dependent on an A, or a 4.0, or success.
but… those words and thoughts go out the window when you’re put in a difficult situation. when you’re short two points.
there is no real happy ending to this story. at least, not yet. it hurts, feeling like i’ve failed yet again. i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t worried about my future, if i said i wasn’t disappointed. i’d also be lying, however, if i said this was the end of the world. right now, it hurts. bad grades hurt. failed relationships hurt. feeling like you’ve let yourself down again hurts. but… after the thick of this storm passes, this too will be insignificant. hopefully.
i’m resilient. maybe stupidly so, but resilient nonetheless. stay with me as i find a way to weave yet another failure into my story and search for that happy ending.