The First Day is a Formality

I wish I remembered that sentence so much more. The first day of anything is nothing but a formality. Granted, I’m sure jobs and college and anything else practical isn’t. But I’m in high school and I like to keep in mind that I actually don’t know much of the real world, because I’m in a sheltered teenage bubble, so the first day of high school is probably the only “first day” I have to worry about. 

This was it. First day of junior year of high school. I can not even begin to tell you how scared I was. You think that I’d be used to this after going through this period every year for 10 years. Nope. Not at all. Every year brings about a new set of worries and complaints and fears. Freshman year was a whole set of worries about a new school, new friends, where to sit at lunch, getting lost, upperclassmen. Oh gosh, the upperclassmen will always terrify me. (Even though I’m “technically” upperclassmen now.) This year though, this year was a mess of terrors. How many times can I emphasize the fear in my soul when I tell you that junior year is the last chance to kick behind.

For a 16 year old, this is so stressful. Not only do I feel more than obligated to bash my brains out if I don’t do well, but I feel obligated to be perfect. Take every AP class offered, never ever get less than a 97, don’t slip up, always do your homework, don’t ever even *think* about procrastination, and do not ever make an excuse to pardon failure. It’s been built in my head ever since 5th grade. Maybe growing up in a predominantly Caucasian town as the only Asian made me feel a need to conform to the stereotype that all Asians are smart. Maybe both of my parents being college professors played a role in it. Maybe the fact that both my parents are immigrants and went through hardships to let me reach for the sky is it. I don’t know. (Or rather I do and it’s all a mix of that.) Just. ugh. ugh. UUUGGGGGHHH.

SATs, ACTs, PSATs, APs…Collegeboard, why?! Why have we dumbed down curriculum and allowed everyone off the hook so easily and then throw in APs, make students feel obliged to take them or feel “less smart” and just. agh. mess. all a mess. Then our SAT grade or ACT grade pretty much determines our college range. No college thinks that your intelligence is based on one score from one saturday out of every other school day of your life. And if a college thinks that, do not apply. I repeat abort mission. But your SAT score does serve for some relevance and where your math/reading/writing/whatever skills lie. 

I don’t even know where I’m going with this post. I just needed a solid place to rant that so much pressure is on this year to do well. I love it but I also hate how much hair I’m losing. Challenge yourself, don’t ever back down from an opportunity to challenge yourself to do better. But also don’t stress yourself out and overwhelm yourself and lose all your hair. So what I’m saying it do what I told you not to do because that’s pretty much how you succeed in life – prove the impossible is possible.

Also just a PSA that I’m complaining and ranting but I’m also extremely grateful to have all of these opportunities to take AP classes, get an education, compel myself forward, and challenge myself. I love school and god bless that I have the ability to go to school everyday, ready to learn, without any worry but when my next test is. I feel extremely privileged that education is a right in America. Plus, I signed up for all these classes and put all these expectations on myself but yknow. I’m a bratty teenager that occasionally rants and obsesses over details. I guess you could say I got myself into all this, which is totally and completely true, but c’mon. I’m obligated to rant as long as I still realize I’m lucky to even be able to rant about such a minuscule problem, right?

-PN

p.s. I also am in *love* with my physics and AP Statistics class already. I’m very excited for the school year. 

How about y’all? Do you guys ever feel anxious/nervous about a “first day”? How do y’all feel about the whole SAT/ACT thing? I’d love to hear feedback!

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