Exhausted senior spotlight: academic validation

Brooke Ellis, Sports Editor

My whole life has revolved around one thing, the letter A. A letter I have such ambivalent feelings towards. Love and hate, I can never decide which. My whole life I have been striving to get all A’s, but why? Why do I care so much? Why do I cancel plans, lose sleep and mentally exhaust myself for a letter? The answer is academic validation. Defined as when a student relies on their academics to feel recognized and valued as an individual. 

I’m still trying to figure out why I care so much. Why do I tear up when I receive a B on my report card or a C on a test? I try to act like I don’t care. That I’m proud of my 92% but deep down I’m frustrated I didn’t devote one more hour to getting that 98%. When deciding my senior year schedule, I chose to take as many APs as I could. What’s one more? I’d think to myself. I knew that colleges would appreciate my vigorous schedule, but at what cost? 

Everyone told me that my senior year would be a year I would never forget, but I cannot wait to forget about it. To be done with the hours of homework, tests at least once a week and less than six hours of sleep each night. But now I’m frustrated with myself. I feel as though I need to get all A’s to be proud of myself but I hate myself for choosing this schedule. I regret my choices but if I had to go back would I even change it? 

It’s tiring always trying to reach the standards I set so high for myself. I’m writing this so you all can learn from my mistakes. If you’re debating on taking that extra AP, weigh the pros and cons. Do you need AP Calculus BC if you know you will never go into anything requiring calculus in the future? Probably not.

Last year in English my teacher asked us if we were living for our resume or our eulogy. That really stuck with me. If somebody had to write your eulogy right now, nobody would write about your grades, they are going to write about your personality, passions and cherished memories with you. So say yes to those spontaneous invites, step out of your comfort zone and close that textbook.