Best is not an option: Waiting to disappoint

Indyrah W., Advertising Manager

Everyone has something they’re good at or just really love doing. Although almost everyone wants to be the “best,” that also comes with some consequences. Expectations are something that teachers, parents, celebrities, and just normal kids like ourselves have to reach/excel at. 

Let’s say you got a great score on a test.

I mean the best score in the class. You studied and went to tutoring. You did all of the “tips” teachers tell you to do before a test. And it worked! Of course, you’d be happy and excited; you’re getting praise from your teacher and other students. Your parent(s) put your test score on the refrigerator next to your sibling(s). Your work never got put on the refrigerator before. Suddenly, your parent(s) are calling you responsible, smart, and good – all the things they call your sibling(s) that you have never been called before. 

You brag to others about how smart you are. You notice you’re being cocky but who cares? You’re smart and that’s what matters.  You start being compared to other “smart” students in your class. Others start calling you smart, something you’ve never been called before but it wasn’t like you weren’t smart, You were “just average.” 

You like being called smart.

 On the next test,  you think, “I’m so smart, I don’t even have to study for this test. I’m sure I’ll ace it.” 

Then you walk into class and the teacher says to you, “I’m sure you’ll do great!” It boosts your confidence. You feel good, sure you’ll get the same score. When taking the test, you realize it’s a little harder than before. Normally you would get a little worried, but it doesn’t bug you this time.

 The teacher tells you your score with a sad face, almost disappointed. You passed. You did well, just not as good as before. The teacher asked what did you do differently?

You reply, “Nothing. I studied and everything, maybe it just wasn’t a good day. I’ll do a re-test.”  Now you’re lying to the teacher.

Secretly you wonder whether you are still “smart” or smart enough to be considered smart. 

Because of all the bragging you did before, everyone is asking about what you got on this test. It must have been great or better than the other “average” students in your class.

You lie again. “I got a 98, One question away and I would have got 100”. You really got a 76.

You just didn’t want people to think you weren’t “smart”. 

When you got home you knew your family would ask about the test. Dang, I talked to them too about the test you remind yourself. “There is our star!” Your family makes a big deal about it because it never happened to you before. You show them your test score, disappointment filled the room. They hugged you and said, “you’ll be better next time.”

They wiped away the tears you didn’t notice were there. 

Maybe I’m not “smart.” maybe I should have studied.

 Everyone is disappointed now. 

You choose to study for the next test, but you still don’t excel. You don’t meet their expectations.

You’ll do better next time.

But will you? It’s happened twice not being “smart” or “the best.” Now you’re lost, what am I good at now?