Fall Quarter 2017 Reflection– Pt. 1

Hi guys! Today I finished my last final of the quarter, which means I have successfully made it through fall quarter of my sophomore year at UCLA!

I wish I could say I was ecstatic with pride and relief at having completed finals… but really, I am just wracked with anxiety over my final grades. See, I found out today that I had gotten an 85% on Thursday’s statistics final. I was, in truth, quite disappointed, as I thought I had NAILED that final, and expected at least a 90%. I then calculated my final grade, and ended up with a raw percentage of 90.56% I am praying that, with the class curve, my grade will be an A, and not an A-.

That’s the thing, though. Why the hell am I stressing so much over a LETTER? No, not even a letter. A stupid dash sign. Let’s be real. In the grand scheme of life, what really is the different between an A and an A-? I always preach to others that letters and numbers don’t define you as a whole… but am I really one to say these words, when I myself have trouble believing them, or at the very least, incorporating them into my own life?

It’s been eight hours since I completed my last final– LS 15. I’m not too confident that I will receive an A in that class, either. But let’s entertain this scenario for a second, shall we?

Say I end up with two A-minuses, or even a B+. What then? My major GPA drops a little… from a 4.0 to, say, a 3.9. Is it the end of the world? Far from it. Am I any less of a person than I was yesterday, when I still had that 4.0? It would be silly of me to think that. So, what’s the big deal, then? I don’t know, you tell me, Belicia.

Well, the thing is, I’ve always been a perfectionist. And it is this very perfectionism that’s driven me mad. All my past therapists have agreed that I need to fight this obsession with perfection. Not necessarily rid myself of it completely, as being a high-achiever is not innately a bad thing– but, when a competitive, high-functioning temperament is taken to the extreme, one becomes vulnerable to the dark forces of disappointment, insecurity, low self-esteem, and depression. Perfectionism is not my friend. And I know that the only way for me to fight it is to experience more failure. More imperfections. More A-minuses. More missteps on the dance floor. More wrong, inharmonious notes on the keyboard. I need to get used to failing, such that I am no longer paralyzed by the fear of underperformance.

I think that getting an A-minus in my classes might just be the best thing that could happen to me. I’m no longer on the pre-med track, so my GPA is not as important as it once was. The stakes are much lower now, than when I was striving to get into medical school. Of course, I need to maintain a sufficient GPA to keep my Regents Scholarship, but I can earn a 3.5 GPA in my sleep.

All I’m saying is, it is OKAY to be imperfect. It is OK to not get A’s in every class. I will keep repeating this mantra in my head until it becomes ingrained into my very core.

 

Love,

Belicia

 

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