I Have Killed
the Perfectionist (in Me)
I take a deep breath and hover my cursor over Grades. This fall has brought a lot of new lessons to me. I have evolved as a student and, I'd like to think, as a person. I remember a few years back when I was graduating from high school I got a message from my teacher that one of my grades would be dropped from 10 to 9 (the Finnish system is from 4 to 10, 4 meaning you have failed, 10 being the best). I cried. For hours. And then laughed at myself.
My education has by far been one of the only things I am in control of. While still a minor I had little to no say in where I would live or with who I would live or what I would have to do. The child goes with the parent - the parent decides, the child obeys. I took it upon myself, when everything around me that I thought I knew was starting to fall apart, that I would keep at least one part of my life intact, perfect, mine. I devoted days and nights to studying and getting good results. Back then, I didn't have much other ways of clearing my head (which has changed for the better now). It was also a way of receiving a relatively certain source of positive feedback, i.e good things. I have a tendency for perfectionism that I have inherited from my mother. And this little monster of a trait took over.
It has since taken me long to get rid of it. Legally an adult now, I have more (or should I say, almost complete) control over my life. I have developed other ways of clearing my head. My future is still of great importance to me but, rather surprisingly, I have learned to forgive myself when I fail.
Tonight I checked my grades for the first period of school (one out of five). 10 from my History course, 10 from my English course, 10 from my Study Skills course, 9 from my Finnish course and 5 from Math. The 5 comes kind of out of the blue, doesn't it? I barely passed the course. To give you a basis for thought, my usual array of grades in Math has lain between 8 and 10 - this little 5 is a first one. But, I don't feel bad. I worked hard this course. Grades are just numbers - but still, I feel I want to revisit the things we went through on this course. I went nearly a year with little to no Math studies due to my break from school. I have forgotten things, a lot of things.
During the exam, I got through the first two questions perfectly. After that, it was kind of a nervous-anxiety, oh-my-god-what's-happening kind of blur. I didn't finish any of the rest of the questions. My head was somewhere completely different. I'd been having anxiety attacks again this fall and, quite fittingly, one decided to hit me during an exam situation with a room full of people and my teacher sitting right in front of me.
Ever since Elementary School I have had trouble doing exams in a room full of fellow students. I feel pressured, and tend to be distracted. I grew out of it by 3rd grade, kind of. It was still there. But I knew how to ignore it. I wasn't really bullied because of it but it made me stick out. Being my nine-year-old self, I wanted to fit in. Ever since I've been able to put myself in a filtered mode of thought in an exam situation - until now.
All is forgiven.
I shall stand back up and try again.