The second row from the door and the third seat from the front. I had my head resting in the palm of my hand, with my elbow placed on the bottom left corner of my desk. My algebra teacher sat on top of her desk. She sat with a stack of our very first tests next to her, eagerly waiting for the bell to begin handing them back. Moments later, the bell rung, my teachers curly brown hair bounced up and down as she hopped down from the desk. She made her way towards her other desk, which held her laptop and other paperwork. She looked around at all of us, as we all stared blankly at her. The stack of tests were still at the other desk in the front.
“I was happy with most of your tests, but some not so much. Don’t worry it’s only the beginning, you’ll have time to bring up your grades.
” My teacher kept a smile as she looked at all of us, but her positive energy was no match for our tiredness and boredom. She made her way back to the thick stack of tests and gently put one hand on the side of the stack and one under for support. As she began to hand out the tests, I had a brave face on. I knew math was always one of my strongest subjects. She pulled out my test and placed it upside down on my desk. I took a deep breath and flipped it over.
“Sixty six!” I yelled out, quickly covering my mouth. This was the first test of my freshman year, the starting grade and I failed. I worried that this would be consistent failing. I felt the pressure caving in on me, I already was searching for friends in my other classes. I wanted to go back to middle school, I saw my friends all the time, I did not have this much work. Out of sadness and anger I had my head on my desk, hanging down in shame. Ever since I was in elementary school, I pressured myself into having good grades. I would be too afraid to tell my parents I got a B. I did not want to be in high school any longer, I feared the days to come.
I sat there for a few minutes, with my head barely up. I knew this was only the beginning of my high school career. There was so much more to come of me, this wasn’t going to matter months in, it wouldn’t even matter in the next three years. Entering high school, I was confident with my school work, my middle school work. High school took it all a step further, and I had to adjust to that. I always put pressure on myself, I encouraged myself to be the best, I never wanted to make mistakes.
Sitting there I realized I could not expect to be top of the class, nor could I expect to have perfect grades for everything. I carefully tucked that test into my folder behind my notes and put it in my backpack. One bad grade could not take away from my high school experience and was not determining the rest of my grades from then on. From that day, I took away important life lessons. I could not let one bad point in my life affect everything else around it and that went for everything around me. I had to remember the positive in my life and I could not let negativity bring me down. Ever since that day, my study habits changed and they would continue to change as the years went on. I did learn that I need to study more and work harder, but most importantly I learned that I needed to believe in myself.
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