Editorial: It’s not my fault, it’s yours

Graphic by Amy Glazer

We all make excuses. When we skip practice, ignore homework or ditch class, we revert to blaming others rather than taking personal accountability.

But let’s face it: our claims that teachers or coaches “hate us” for no reason are not as valid as we think.

Throughout our high school careers, academic and athletic abilities are tested. Our efforts and performances are assessed, whether it be receiving a letter grade or playing time. Yet no matter how poorly we score on an assessment or how frequently we warm the bench, it is highly improbable that these situations are the result of a teacher or coach “hating us.”

When our teachers give us the rubric for our upcoming project, do we ever see categories like student preference and similar hobbies? Unlikely. Teachers do not grade our character but rather our performance. Do categories labeled accuracy, organization and mechanics sound more familiar?

If our coach benches us for a game, and instead of working hard during the next practice we decide to whine about our coach being unfair, we should not expect to play in the following game. It is our hard work and, ultimately, our performance that dictates our playing time.

It is hard to admit when we are wrong. It is much easier to simply point fingers, but if we never acknowledge our own faults, how can we expect to ever improve?

Sometimes our maximum efforts do not translate into the results we want, and although it is unfortunate, we generally get what we earn. If we miss every catch at practice or do not know the answers on a math test, we cannot expect to get the grade or playing time we hoped for, despite full effort.

There may be situations that are difficult to take accountability for because they seem out of our control. We say our teachers can’t teach, therefore, we stand no chance of doing well in the class. Meanwhile, we may not be doing any extra studying outside of class, going in for extra help or even reaching out to the teacher.

To get the results we want, we have to stop blaming others for our own shortcomings. Sometimes, we have to put in the work.

I guess it’s not your fault, it’s mine.