A is for Awesome, B is for Bad

For some a B is whatever. Some don’t strive for much academically or really care about school at all. I envy them. To some degree, I’ve always wanted to be the kid who effortlessly pulled A’s in every class—no big deal. But what I really want is to stop caring so much. It would be easier that way.

In middle school, I was always seen as a “smart kid.” I worked hard, and I got the grades I wanted for the most part. For many reasons high school hasn’t been the same. I beat myself up every day for not being good enough, not being smart enough, just not being enough. I come from a high school with 21 people in the “Top Ten.” It’s intimidating. And I try not to compare myself to them, but I wonder all the time why my hard work hasn’t “paid off.” Why do I spend this many hours studying and doing homework to get less than perfect grades?
My grades aren’t bad by anyone’s standards. I know I’m not going to be perfect. But why can I put as much or more time in than some other people and get worse results?
Is it genetics?
Is it my study habits?
Is it my schedule?
Is it because I over think things?
Is it me?
I’ve been overwhelmed with anxiety the whole time I’ve been writing this post, just because I’m concerned that I’m not getting homework done right now. It’s impossible for me to enjoy other activities sometimes, because I’m concerned about the amount of time I have to dedicate to homework/studying. It’s come to a point where I actually feel like it’s inhibiting my normal functioning.
I care so much about my academics that I am crushed whenever I don’t get the grade I wanted. Because when I spent as much as I did studying, and I looked online to a disappointing grade, I can’t blame my lack of preparation or lack of time.
That’s just me.
I tried my best. And it wasn’t good enough. So many people have told me that I’m too hard on myself, but how can I accept that my best isn’t what I consider good enough?
And what happens when I do what is actually considered “poor” by everyone’s standards? I’m worried about posting this even, because grades are such a “secret” thing unless you really don’t care or you are 
 doing “extraordinary.” The only time it’s really acceptable is when we either
A)Have an excuse that we deem a good enough reason to have done poorly

My  (Fill in sport/activity here) practice went forever last night, and I didn’t get a chance to study

B) Decide it was the teacher’s fault
So-and-So is such an unfair grader. You don’t even know. Your teacher must be so easy, because So-and-So just looks for reasons to take off points. “You didn’t capitalize Florida: D-.”
But you know what, sometimes we do badly. Maybe some people don’t ever do poorly academically. Maybe they could plug numbers into the quadratic equation in the womb. Or maybe they spent their diapers days studying the Theory of Mind and macroeconomics. But no one can be perfect in every regard.*
I bet I can do a round kick (a type of karate kick) better than one in the “Top Ten.”  I also bet that there will be a day in my life that the grades I got in high school don’t matter anymore.
I just can’t wait until the day that they don’t matter anymore, to me.
And when that day comes, I’ll be ready to re-define what I think is awesome.
L is for Loving Life
I is for Infinite possibilities
V is for Vibrant colors to fill your life
E is for Eternity with the people you love**
*This doesn’t include Superman, God (Or whatever deity you may believe in), or Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
**These are the letters that should matter. Disregard A,B,C,D, and F until further notice.