I just don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve prayed. I’ve planned. I’ve studied. But still I can’t seem to get a grip on things. I’m literally hanging on by a thread and the thread is slowly tearing. As the semester comes to an end I have been failing exams left and right. I honestly just want to scream.
Math—ugh! It’s definitely no friend of mine. I feel cornered and backed against the ropes with this one math class I am taking. I tried to put up a good fight, but the class keeps firing body shot after body shot. I’ve done everything possible so far to pass the exams: took notes, studied, practiced equations, completed and passed the homework and quizzes, attended the professor’s office hours, received tutoring, reorganized my agenda—did I mention studied? Yet, even with all of that, it still seems as if my effort isn’t good enough once exams come rolling in. I failed two so far, with just two more approaching in the coming weeks.
In the midst of this losing streak of mine, I often think: how can I do everything “right” and still be wrong? It’s one thing to procrastinate and be irresponsible yet feel like a victim when my exam scores don’t match my expectations. However, when someone like me—organized, responsible and hardworking—does everything possible and still fails, it’s another thing entirely.
I strived to maintain control over my academic life since grade school. In college, I realized that in life there’s only so much in my control. If anyone told me back then that, “Sometimes you’ll fail, even if you try your hardest,” I probably would’ve just shrugged it off and thought that as long as I work hard then I’ll succeed. Now I realize those expectations were naïve, prideful and unrealistic. I’m only human—flawed and riddled with mistakes.
I now realize that not passing my math exams even after doing everything I could, was designed to teach a lesson about life.
Never be too sure of yourself.
I believed that just working hard solidified success for me. But hard work alone isn’t the solution, just part of the equation. Everyone experiences off-days, or in my case an off-semester (lol).
I learned to not be so hard on myself—I’m only able to control so much. I learned to stop prioritizing mere grades as the be-all and end-all of my own existence as a college student. I am more than just a grade point average, a percentage or a number stacked against others in a sequence.
And I am not in this alone. So many other college students have similar experiences, if not the same exact experience. This is not an exclusive problem—it is universal.
Though I still struggle in the class, I no longer feel as defeated as I once did. I don’t feel so concerned about getting my “A”, but more about understanding this lesson—letting go of what is not for me to control. I am not doing anything wrong, so there is no reason for me to beat myself up nor a reason to stress myself out.
So if you find yourself relentlessly trying to attain an acceptable grade, but find yourself backed against the ropes, punched in the gut, just remember to guard your face and keep on punching back. The fight isn’t over. Sometimes letting go, staying in your own lane and doing all you can is enough, whether you get the results you feel like you deserve or not. One class doesn’t control your destiny and neither do a million mistakes. Like Pops said in the movie Friday, “You win some, you lose some. But you live, you live to fight another day!”