If we include my two years of first grade, I have been in school for, roughly, seventeen years. Doing anything for nearly two decades is sufficient time for anyone to be able to tell if they are successful at it, or not. I am the latter in the realm of academics. Perhaps the fact that I had to repeat a grade had something to do with it or maybe it was the bevy of issues that can be summed up as ‘girl trouble’.
One common blame is the instructors, but I have had excellent relationships with (nearly) every teacher I have had from Kindergarten to college. In fact, I owe my former teachers for a great deal of things. They gave me perspectives that I never dreamed of needing and helped guide me into becoming the young man I am today. It is nowhere near the fault of anyone but myself.
What is to blame though? What even possesses me to say that I am ‘bad at school’? Well, before I break it down subject by subject, let me hit on something that plagued me in every year of schooling I have ever had. Attendance. I used to get sick very often. There were times in eighth grade where I was absent for so long that I returned to the surprise of my fellow classmates. Apparently, a rumor circulated that I was now deceased. This actually led me to creating a short story out of a dream and that event which will, God willing, never see the light of day.
Later on in high school and college, my then undiagnosed mental health issues liked to chain me to my bed and really give me a rough go around. THEN, when they were diagnosed and I was being medicated for them, I still had extreme difficulty budging from my springy black mattress. This has led to more failures than I would like to admit.
Unfortunately, my daydreaming (a vital weapon to combat the Enemy) can lead to me missing vital chunks of lessons and becoming too embarrassed to ask what I had missed. Embarrassment is certainly a big part of why I am bad at school.
I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know what formulas to use in Chemistry and Pre-Calculus, so on tests I would just leave swaths of questions blank. In college French, I was too embarrassed to actually speak and eventually just dropped it as my minor altogether. In fact, the only place I feel that I thrived was class discussion. There was never a right or wrong answer that could entangle ever syllable that slid out my my mouth, so I roamed free.
I certainly cite my attention span and lack of motivation as the two main causes of my consistent failures. So much so that I stopped writing this particular post in the middle of the last sentence and took a 24 hour break.
Do I let this stop me though? Just because I am bad at school should mean that I hate it, right?
You see, I love learning and will always love it. I will always get better at studying and attending class if I enjoy myself. The real hurdle to get over is to allow myself to enjoy learning again. I am so focused on not doing things that I consistently forget that I still have so much to learn. I will never stop learning.
So, I am bad at school. But I am good at learning. And really, isn’t that the important thing?