When I got my grades back, I realized I had a B. Not even a B+ but an alarmingly average B.   Four years ago, an A- had sent me into spasms of sobs and long angst-ridden poetry about the futility of life. Now I had a full grade level lower.

You know what was weird? I was the happiest person I had ever been – this was cause for celebration.  I had passed one of the hardest classes, in a subject I had hated. The proud nod of approval my teacher gave me when he handed me back my paper spoke volumes.  It was a job well done; I had challenged myself and had learned a valuable subject that would serve me well in my future career. I had stretched my talents and had proved myself wrong; I could be decent in mathematics.   It didn’t matter that this lowered my grade point average – I had achieved something great.

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In hindsight, my GPA suffered.  But no “A” could have given me the pleasure of knowing how much I could achieve if I faced my fears.  I think it was worth it.  Therefore, I can only advise others to take the path of learning, because the skills will serve you well.  Grades fade away into the obscurity of memory, but learning is forever.

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