It has been a rough week and I have been completely burnt out and exhausted.
It will continue being a rough week for the upcoming week, and honestly at this point as I am typing this, I feel all the enthusiasm and zeal seep out of me with the final straw landing on my back.
You would think I am exaggerating, and I probably am, depending on your point of view.
I got back my grades for a module assignment for which I had put in plenty of effort – research, consultation, going through it…I did it all. Somehow, when I got it back, the grade just…sucked.
For all my effort, it wasn’t even at the median.
For all my research and work, all I have gotten back was a crappy bottom of the cohort kind of grade.
For all my enthusiasm and interest in the module…I have been slapped in the face with the renewed understanding that perhaps, just perhaps, interest and passion were not enough.
I will be truthful. The lousy grade stung. When I saw it, my heart went from the rapid drumming of anticipation to a steep plummet down a deep dark abyss. The abyss that I have slowly been spiralling into for the past week, only to be pulled out repeatedly by my best friends and buddies. The abyss of self-doubt, of fear, of tremendous amount of stress.
The deep, cold tunnel of “I am so fucking done”.
I know that the typical comfort I get from feeling really moody getting back a poor grade will go something like this: grade does not define anything. Don’t let your grades define you. You are so much more than that. 10 years down the road who remembers what you got for that one assignment for that one module? Also, never never ever compare yourself with other people.
Unfortunately as far as the construction of self-identity goes, my grades have and will always continue to define a part of me as long as I am a student. It is not just about creating my self worth on an arguably arbitrary value on a assignment marked by professors who have seen a million permutations and combinations of the same work. It is about a sense of pride that is repeatedly hurt and diminished – I take a strong sense of pride in my work, in completing it early and in presenting what I have tirelessly found out in the process. I take my modules because I am either interested in it, or I have no choice but to take it.
Imagine you went into a module loving every little bit of the content and thinking that you do know it well enough to write a good paper…then bam.
It kills you a little inside.
It sounds awfully pragmatic and realistic when I confess to myself that the moment I saw the terrible terrible grade upon my gradebook, my interest in the module took a sudden and rapid turn to intense dislike and was that…rejection? Frustration? The change was swift and fast, cold and unfeeling like the grade that was mocking me from my computer screen.
I even scoffed at myself a little bit for being so interested in learning for the sake of my own interest. Why did I ever take this module that jeopardize my CAP, my grades, my chance of a first class honors?
It was also at this moment that I pushed aside my just-started research for a soon to be due essay and started questioning myself on why I felt so broken and lost.
If everyone was right and if grades don’t define me…what does?
I felt so frustrated. The frustration extended to my other module’s presentation tomorrow too. I could be doing extra. I could be more interested than most people and more enthusiastic in researching and learning. I could go the extra mile but what I am reminded is “keep within the time limit of 10 minutes” for your presentation. It frustated me that my extra efforts aren’t acknowledged.
This has been a bad week.
Next week. Next week. I fear it.