My ever-changing grip on the reins of life


I have always been instructed in dance to never let a mistake on stage show through my facial expressions. I believe a similar thing happens when life decides to snatch its own reins from my seemingly-fastened grip: I never let it show.

On the outside, it appears that I have my life somewhat together. I returned to competitive dance this year; therefore, my time after school is now occupied by dance team practice as well as competitive dance rehearsals.

Meanwhile, I have limited time to dedicate to schoolwork. This year, I have been able to keep a high GPA like I earned last year. Additionally, my GPA consists of the grades derived from all advanced classes—one of them being an AP class.

Even though at least a full day of my weekend is constantly devoted to completing assignments, I also allot myself time to spend with my friends during the weekend. This year, for a change, I cannot recall the last time I was stranded at my house bored.

Furthermore, I attempt to look presentable at school; whenever I do not wear jeans, a reaction is invoked in my friends who happen to notice. Rarely will I be found sporting a hoodie; exam week is no exception.

My confidence wavers between weeks. I purposely challenge myself, and without a doubt, I enjoy the challenge. Freshman year was a breeze; it’s a new concept for me to be putting effort into school this year.

However, I frequently feel the repercussions of packing my time. Not to mention, I fear that junior year will only be worse with all of the testing and pressure it carries. These creeping insecurities encourage me to loosen my grip on the reins; they want me to crumble and relish impeding my success. 

It’s challenging to not become frustrated with how time works. I so desperately wish that all of my questions regarding my future were answered now. This year, I have especially struggled with not wishing my life away. In reality, I am putting in strenuous work at school in hopes that it will pay off later.

It is hard to ignore my future when I am trying to figure out now what to do to shape it into what I want.

Likewise, during such a transitional year in my life, I become frustrated with myself when success does not come rapidly enough. For example, in Mr. George’s class, I have yet to get a perfect score on the Article of the Week assignments (there have been five).

I am consistently writing papers every week for Mr. George—whether it’s in Honors English 10 or Writing for Publication; yet, my papers cannot seem to contain perfect word choice and no grammatical errors at equivalent times.  

Finally, I struggle with not being “perfect.” Unfortunately, my GPA recently decreased to a 3.95; however, when I started drafting this column, it was a 4.0. My Algebra 2 grade will physically eat away at my serenity—like a worm within a rosy apple—until it returns to an A, and my grip on the reins is refastened. 

I measure my success by a baby blue star being completely surrounded by navy blue on my PowerSchool app; when it is not, there is nothing else I can think about. When my GPA is not a 4.0, my grip is extremely loosened and all I can focus on is the incorrectness of my actions. How my failure is completely my fault. 

However, even though a slight decrease in my GPA is devastating to me, I attempt to stay positive and encourage myself to acknowledge the positives—because there are always some available.

I constantly struggle to balance my time between school, dance, and friends; however, I cannot permit my life being controlled by an unhealthy obsession with a Grade Point Average.      

I have to understand that I am not perfect.

Hopefully, no one is expecting me to be.