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I begin to fear the probability of my own future, as if a single mark defines the life I live, as if that one grade defines who I am as an individual. I look at the people around me and wonder: Can they see themselves snapping their bones and folding their skin over themselves in an effort to squeeze into the top?

Entering high school, I realize that the quote “Numbers don’t define you” takes a huge turn. I see my numbers as a stamp across my forehead. I see my grades as a tattoo burned onto my skin forever, and if I don’t make those marks presentable, they’ll be a permanent image that I can never reverse.

These grades not only scare me, but they also take a huge toll on my ego.

I mean, if someone is confident in something, messing it up can be very disappointing and hurtful. Scoring grades that are way below what I expect can not only lower my confidence, but also deny me of something that I believed I was good at. It feels frustrating when your grades don’t reflect the effort you put in.

In high school, marks lose their status of being just a number and morph into the “judge of my future.”

I’ve always been an overachiever, always fighting to push myself further than I have before. I guess it’s a product of my natural competitiveness, but now, I’m exposed to a lot more people and the competition I once felt against myself has shifted towards others. I realize the reason for all my stress is the pressure that I put on myself I learned to push myself to earn the marks that I want, and to always work towards a goal.

When all my efforts end in heartbreak, it only pushes me to work harder every single day. Sometimes this pressure can be good because I earn my marks, but worrying about how well I want to do keeps me up at night and follows me through the day.

School, whether you like it or not, can greatly impact your life.

When we make that leap from middle school to high school, there’s more pressure to not only get good grades  but pressure is also put onto your friendships and self-discovery, making  this time in your life feel like the worst.

When I get stressed about school, I turn to my friends because they understand the pressure I put on myself to succeed. They understand my worries and can console me when I need it.

I love school and I work hard for my grades, but I know what my limits are.

It’s important to know when to shut the books and take a breather.  School may be extremely important but one thing that I have learned through the years of struggle and stress, is that sometimes putting the books away and hanging out with friends, reading a book for leisure, or relaxing in general helps me reach my potential even more than studying. Those breaks help you relieve your stress and have fun! Your teenage years are all about living your life. We still have lots of time to focus and study hard.

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