I have spent the entirety of my high school career pushing myself to be more. To be better. No missing assignments (ever) and nothing below a C on anything. All A’s or I wasn’t worth it (shoutout to my freshman Biology teacher who wouldn’t round up my 89.7 to a 90).
I have also battled mental illness the entirety of my high school career. I didn’t stop to give myself a break or take a minute to ask myself what matters more: my grades or my mental health?
Now that I am at the end of my senior year, I can’t stress enough that grades are not everything. Don’t get me wrong. They’re important. Take the time to study, and don’t procrastinate, but don’t base your worth on your grades. It just isn’t fair.
People are quick to tell you to take a break, but if that break is playing video games or hanging out with friends, they’ll tell you that you’re just wasting your time. That is far from the truth.
Time is not wasted on the things you enjoy. Time is a gift, and you can’t waste a gift. Use it however you like because it is yours.
Soon, I’m going to Purdue University with a major of Professional Flight Technology (fancy words for saying I’m going to be a pilot). It’s a very competitive program, and I just barely squeaked in because of my GPA. I have a 3.98 GPA, and I just barely got in because I only had one extracurricular.
Every college I had applied to looked at GPA, but they looked more at extracurriculars. They want to know what you did with your time that made a difference in high school, and studying is not enough.
As well as helping you get into college, extracurriculars are one of the best ways to make friends. One of my best friends is a girl one year older than me who happened to be in the theater program when I auditioned in my freshman year. I wouldn’t have been able to meet her without the theater program even though neither of us are pursuing theater after high school.
Audition for the play, visit a language club for a class that you’re not even taking, try out chess even if you’ve never played before. Maybe you’ll find a passion that you would not have otherwise discovered, and that is a beautiful thing.
So, if you’re going to take anything from this article: take a break, and try new extracurriculars. Both of those matter more than anybody lets on.