Local lazy student gets reality check

Karina Belotserkovskiy, Editor-at-Large

Throughout high school, I’m pretty sure most people I talked to on a regular basis would have sold their souls to maintain a 5.0 GPA for four years.

I did not come close to achieving that.

Now, this isn’t going to be some little spiel about how numbers don’t really matter or how our self worth is defined by what’s in our hearts, not what’s on our transcripts or some other thing counselors tell students having breakdowns over their grades. No, this is going to be a spiel about how I failed at being the best version of myself I could have become in high school. The numbers were just a side effect.

The first reality check was that the old saying proved true: hard work does pay off. While I was losing it over the amount of work throughout all of high school, even having to quit my job and most of my extracurriculars to get my grades back up to something that wouldn’t make admissions counselors laugh upon first glance at my applications, many of my classmates, though as equally weighed down by the work as I was, flourished under these circumstances. They spent their nights preparing for social studies essays with pages of prompt answers and notes, while I, on the other hand, usually had a couple of bullet points. Along with my lack of work ethic, I have a massive fear of failure, which became my excuse for not putting all my effort into what was actually important. Why bother? It was a very paradoxical experience, failing constantly because of my fear of doing exactly that. 

The next reality check came in waves, during college admissions season, or to more aptly put it, college rejection season. I’m not going to make this some pity party and float out every college I got waitlisted and rejected from: the fact is, I couldn’t coast on a decent ACT score or a decent essay because I didn’t have the meat, the centerpiece, the headlining act: the grades. I watched my classmates get those coveted acceptance letters (or well, emails), not even jealous, but quite ashamed of myself. They deserved it. 

This has been a pretty dismal final column for Torch. From a surface-level perspective, it seems as though the only thing I learned in high school was that numbers are the only thing that matter. On the contrary, success isn’t a 5.0 GPA. Success is drive, which entails motivation, work ethic and the actual desire to make something of yourself. If I had half as much drive as my classmates, I may have had the numbers to get into my dream colleges, and I definitely would have been more put together, accomplished and ready to take on the adult world. 

After four years of not quite working, I think I’m ready to try something a little bit different.