The memoir of a failing Junior

Mae Bryant, Journalist

I knew I was failing when my chemistry teacher wrote “Are you ok?” on my graded 5/20 lab. I got that lab back a week before finals, which is a little late to realize you’re failing.
And it’s not just that lab . Earlier in the year my Algebra 2 teacher handed back a graded 0/16 quiz. I’ve kept that quiz all year just so when I feel really good about myself I come back down to earth.
There’s pretty much a bonfire pile of sub-50% quizzes that I’ve got.
People said junior year is the hardest (and most important) year of high school. And it really was all two of those things. I guess somewhere in my head it just wasn’t the most important thing to me.
I find that when I was held up to the measuring stick of public education, I just couldn’t make it. I think I tried my hardest not to fail Algebra 2, but my 60.1% isn’t looking too good and I am left knowing maybe there was room somewhere I could have tried harder.
Just this morning I told my brother about how bad my grades are and his only words were “Well just try harder.”
God I hope I tried my hardest. Because if I didn’t, that leaves me an educational failure and lazy.
But, why I truly have a brick in my heart is because I always truly thought I was smart. School was never hard for me. I always had this idea in my head that I was really good. There was a time (sometime) when freshman me put in C+ effort and received A’s.
And now, at the end of the “most important year” I’m no better than my 1st grader self crying because I got my first B on a report card.
Last night, the night before my 2 final final exams I really understood how deep of crap I’m in. I mean- “ I just hope my GPA is above a 3.0” crap. (I haven’t looked, I’m too scared.)
It was then I thought to myself, “I guess I’ll just have to find another way to find my worth. It’s not in highschool.”
Where is my worth? Well, some people have said I am a talented writer, but I don’t think anyone really reads my writing. And besides, there are probably other 17 year olds who are also “talented” at writing.
I’ve coped with grades by the idea that life is bigger than high school and made a self worshiped moral that I’d rather die than become someone anxiety ridden over an A+.
But what if life isn’t bigger after high school because I failed it? And the ‘stupid’ gym credits that don’t really mean anything, stop me from doing anything with myself.
And the truth really is, I’m glad my peak is not in high school. If I didn’t hate the guts out of high school then I would be the very type of person I hate.
It’s only the first day of summer and I know this crisis will move out of prominence in my mind by next week.
This summer. I’ll turn 18 and move into senior year, I’ll be reborn in a way. But I wonder what I’ve set myself to be reborn into. Is it a person who will hang with the wayside types of the educational system from now on? Is it a person who screwed up the future by being too lazy to try freaking hard enough for one semester?
I’ll try and have confidence in whatever I’ve done to the next stage of my life. It’s my life after all. No way out of it. I am all of my D’s and B’s and C’s. And I’m not as successful as my best friends or my boyfriend. But I’ll find worth out there somewhere. I just gotta stake my claim in something better than the end of my junior year, if I can find it. It’s out there.