Colleen

Second best takes an impact on performance

Mar 19 • Colleen Langham, Opinion • 405

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School has never exactly been the easiest thing for me.

Although I was in the honors program and in advanced classes throughout my high school career, I had a tough time getting by.

I’m the type of person who always bites off more than I can chew because I like to challenge myself – regular classes weren’t doing that for me.

While my classmates would easily pass a test, I was being “average Jane” and getting C’s – which can become extremely frustrating.

Which brings me to my next point about structured education. I’ve never been good at test taking, but talk to me one-on-one and I will prove to you that I am different from what my test grades say.

Structured education can be frustrating because I know a lot of other students who have the same issue I have. Professors base some classes merely on tests, which is clearly a disadvantage for me.

I’ve never been good at memorizing and finding quality ways to study. I’m better at applying my knowledge through essays or in front of a professor.

I’ve always been told not to compare myself to others and that school isn’t a competition, which is true, but it’s easier to say that when you’re breezing through classes.

Another reason for my struggle in academics in addition to a lack of motivation at times, is that I always feel second best, or even third best. I never felt the best; there was always someone better than me, getting in my way.

As I entered college, I thought I could break old habits; some I did. But I still, at times, feel like I’m at the bottom of the barrel.

It’s not rare to see professors picking their favorites in class and they make it clear who those might be. Now, I’ve certainly never been a “suck up” because I don’t believe in doing anything along those lines – I have my pride.

Favorites are OK with me as long as all is played fair. I will maintain my status as the underdog.

A good friend reminded me the other day that the underdog always rises. That might have been the best advice I have received in a long time.

I don’t have an issue with being the underdog, I would just like some recognition sometimes because I do believe in myself, but sometimes reassurance can finalize my accomplishments.

I will continue to use my perseverance to build and strengthen who I am to who I want to be.

Eventually, when I overcome my obstacles, I will no longer be the underdog. For now, I will try my hardest – like always – and await my time.

That time in my life will make everything worth it.

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