The Roar

Why test scores or poor grades don’t define who you are

 Coming from someone who can’t solve an algebra problem to save her life, and got a 21 the first time she took her ACT, I am able to understand first hand why the letter on a report card, or the score of my standardized tests do not define who I am as an individual.

 A member of the varsity cross country and track team, a writer, an older sister, daughter and friend, I constantly have something going on in my life to keep me busy and to keep my mind elsewhere. But no matter my other responsibilities, school always falls first for me. I keep my studies organized and my social life separate but many times, mid-breakdown, I begin to wonder if it is truly worth it.

 As my school years progress, what only gets harder is the curriculum and my study habits. Do I want to study for my physics test or do I want to go to my friend’s birthday party? Take three guesses.

 If I can take anything from the courses I have completed in high school, what I will remember most is the constant flash cards, interactive notebooks and study guides. Was it all to learn the material? Not at all. 5 years from now, the last thing I will remember is the trajectory of a projectile but right now, I have that memorized like the back of my hand. Students aren’t learning, they’re memorizing. All anyone cares about anymore is to earn an A, despite the fact if they are truly understanding the material or not.

 Two summers ago, I spent my summer in Argentina learning the beautiful culture and language. Except, the only difference, there were no flashcards, no interactive notebooks. But I was learning, and more importantly, I was enjoying learning. And above all, I was enjoying myself. There was no stress, no tears, no letter grades or scores but there was knowledge and understanding of the language. Something I will never take away from my years in high school.

 If I truly enjoyed what I was taking away from the classroom, I would have straight A’s across the board. But because of how much I despise math or science, I’ve managed if not struggled to get A’s and B’s.

 As I begin my journey into college, the furthest thing from my mind are my credentials and where I will fit academically but rather my abilities as a writer and a person who will be able to strive in a new environment. An environment full of new experiences and new people, I am excited to see where that journey takes me. I’m excited to not be labeled by superficial test scores and grades once my school years are over, but to take what I have truly learned throughout my years and high school, and what I will learn throughout my years of college. Learning through mistakes, heartbreaks, and failures. But more importantly, learning through enjoyment, laughter and experiences.

 No more flashcards. No more interactive notebooks. No more memorization. I am proud to admit that with a 3.72 GPA and a 27 on my ACT, I am certainly not an extraordinary student but I do believe I am an extraordinary person with an amazing future ahead of me, free from those superficial labels that schools are trying to place on mine and my peer’s intelligence.

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The student news site of Potomac Falls High School