After a week on vacation, I have a new perspective on life – one that is certainly tainted in judgement by beautiful sunsets, shimmering ocean waters, a fresh sea-breeze and generous, hot sun. But nonetheless it is a new, all-consuming perspective on life.
Somehow, my post decided to end up in the trash, rather than on UpbeaT as previously planned. And with the promise of 2009 around the corner, it seems only fitting I should re-type my post during 2008, and make a New Year’s Resolution to hand my assignments to a person rather than slipping it under the office door and hoping for the best.
After all, very few people get A’s by crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, right?
But let me tell you, my dear amigos, that when you are lying on the beach, enjoying the sand, surf and sun, responsibility just seems so far away. And then, (of course), you get a real perspective on school and life.
I realized (while staring out at the water, of course, for revelations such as this come only when the ocean is kissing your feet) that when it comes to school, I’m never happy. I’m never happy because I’m always waiting.
I’m always waiting for …well, for my T.A. to give me an A, or at least provide more-than-pitiful reasons as to why I got a B. I’m waiting for my Professor to inspire me, or at least speak up louder in class, and provide a decent explanation as to what I have to do for my take-home exam. Sometimes I’m waiting for little things, like my fingers to take notes faster, or my pen to actually work, or a scholarship. I’m waiting for my brain to memorize the hundreds of textbook pages faster, and then effectively regurgitate it for exams. I’m not happy because the mark I got back was 2% lower than I hoped for, or I hit class average rather than above, or the lunch-lady gave me far too much curry than I would have ever put on my rice.
My problem is, as I discovered in Cancun, is that I allow myself to be defined by my marks and so I am always waiting to feel good enough.
You see, I want to be extraordinary.
Wait, scratch that, that’s ‘old Fariya’ thinking.
I am extraordinary
(and I say this in the humblest way possible, for I believe all humans are extraordinary).
But when it comes to school, I can only show how extraordinary I am by the marks I have achieved. I hate that! I simply hate it – why should my knowledge and passion in a course be represented my whether I choose A or D in a multiple choice exam? Why should a T.A. or Professor not realize how wonderful I am because only 3 students can receive an A to keep the class average at 70.8%, and I must get a B+? Why is it that Law School (or any other professional/graduate school for that matter) cares what my G.P.A. and LSAT score are, rather than the fact that I can argue the fuzz off a peach, achieve third place in a National Undergraduate Mooting Competition at the age of 18, and present in front of hundreds of people without any stage fright at all?
My old “I-like-the-trash-can-better” post contained resolutions of making new friends, attending more club events, and trying to develop new skills. My new post says you know all that already and I don’t need to tell you that.
Instead, take away this: do not allow your marks to define you even if they are As (which, by the way, despite my ranting, I am happy to say I achieved in ample courses).
Be better than the grade that the university stamps your forehead with, and believe that who you are, the potential you hold, and the things you can do, can be, and certainly are extraordinary.
It’s funny how, when you are a baby, everything you do seems to delight people. When you take your first step, say your first word, smile your first toothless grin, and close your eyes in peaceful sleep, all those around you are delighted and encouraging. As you get older, the miracles of exploration, laughter, and peace are considered ‘unsuitable’ as life skills and certainly not exemplary résumé skills.
But let me challenge you to look for something more – something better, something satisfying. Be exemplary, be extraordinary and take a leap. Fall in love, travel to a new country, give someone a home-made, heartfelt present, or do someone a favour. Be more than a C or B or even A, and instead, be U. Be the best You that you can be, and be amazing.
Remember, you will never know how high you can soar, until you spread your wings.
Have a Fabulous Christmas Break, my Dear Friends, and a Wonderful New Year.
2 comments on “Sun, Sand and a New Perspective”
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Simply beautiful. I’m a 2nd year UofT student, and i’ve seen my marks drop significantly. Ever since then, i’ve been having on and off mood swings, assuming my grades did define me as a person. I’m trying my best to get that analogy out of my head. Thank you for this inspiration!
Thanks for the comment. I just want to let you know that if you find your grades suffering or your mood slipping, there are lots of services that can support you such as your registrar, the Academic Success Centre or Health and Wellness.
Health & Wellness: http://healthandwellness.utoronto.ca