Forget the Stress and Shine

“We think we’re made of numbers. Percentages on tests, pounds on a scale, likes on a photo, price tags on clothes. But we’re not. We are made of love and happiness and the way we laugh. We’re made of good memories and late nights and past-curfews. We have more substance than numbers.”

~Taybunny711 (Tumblr)

Stress by Namirenn

Stress by Namirenn

For those of you that have read my “About Me” page, you know that I’m a senior in high school. To me, and a lot of others, that means pressure and homework and stress. It’s the final count down and it’s a race to the finish line. I know that most people say, “Chill, relax! It’s your Senior year, enjoy it!” but life’s not that simple.

These days, if you want to get into a good college, you end up working down to the last second. Instead of going to school from 8 to 2, like how a regular Senior schedule should be, you have students who go to school from 7 to 3 with a sport or other after school class that might last until 6 or 7. That’s a 12 hour school day. We study and study and study and all of it just to get into our “dream school”.

But at what point does it become too much? At 17 and 18 should we really be staying up until 2am working on projects? Should we really be taking 5 AP classes in subject’s we’re not even remotely interested in? I, myself, have had experience with having to be comforted and having to comfort crying friends when the stress has gotten beyond comprehensible. At what point do we stop the pressure to succeed and replace it with the ability to have and get a life? Which brings me to something my English teacher said last week that really resonated with me: “You just need to find one thing you’re good at.”

I’ve never been good at testing. I do my homework, I understand the concepts, I study my butt off before every exam. I’m not stupid or lazy, I’m just not good at taking a test. Which sucks when “the path to our future” relies on two very long tests (the SAT and ACT). But I’ve managed to work around this flaw by working on my strengths. I’ve never been afraid to ask for help so before many of my tests I go into a teacher’s room at lunch to study. I’m efficient at completing my homework on time so I almost never miss an assignment. When it comes to the ACT/SAT’s, I study hard and do the best that I can.

Sometimes it’s a hard rule to follow but I’ve found that it works. Besides, I’m more than just a test grade or a GPA.

And think about what will happen if you apply it to your everyday life.

Because let’s face it, as human beings we can’t be good at everything. Sure, there are people out there that seem like they can do just about anything, but that’s not really true. You can be an astronaut and still be bad at history just like you can be the president and not even be able to keep a pet rock, let alone a goldfish, alive. When school is done and over with, what’s the one thing that you’re good at? What’s the one thing that makes you shine?

For me, it’s writing. Besides being my creative outlet, it’s something that I’m able to connect to other people with. Whether with my readers or my fellow writers, I know that what I’m doing is being or going to be shared with someone else. And because I’ve found “that one thing” it has opened a lot of doors for me.

So now it’s your turn to figure it all out. Go out, take a breather. Soak in the sun for awhile. Remember, all you have to do is ask yourself: what’s the one thing that I’m good at? What’s the one thing that makes me shine? Follow your strengths and just remember: you’re more than an SAT score.

And Mr. T if you read this, thank you. It’s a something I don’t think I’m ever going to forget.

Special thanks to Namirenn

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One thought on “Forget the Stress and Shine

  1. Maya, I’m so glad I saw this! I think stress is really pushing down on all of us this week, with Halloween, College deadlines, the Bell Game, quarter grades, Fall sports in full swing, weather and time changing… it’s almost too much to handle! You are so right about us being more than a test score… we are living breathing humans who do more in our day-to-day lives than we could write in an essay or resume. Often, we touch other lives and help other people without even realizing it… and THAT’S what I wish the colleges could see.
    I understand that tests and such are important for the admissions to see what we can do academically, and why accepting only the top students with the best scores would benefit their reputation. Nonetheless, it’s frustrating that they can’t see who we really are.

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