On receiving another distressing mark (again)

Too many bad marks and you start giving up. Giving up what? Giving up to please your tutor.

Writing one article about pursuing excellence doesn’t make you pursue excellence straightaway. It’s a process that I need to learn again, and again. Even writing another article about pursuing excellence the second time doesn’t remind you straightaway to keep pursuing excellence after you receive yet another distressing mark.

So this is my third attempt to write an article about pursuing excellence, again. Just a way for me to cope with the reality.

Okay, I didn't fail, and this image is an exaggeration. Oh, I didn't get an Asian F either. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this blog.

I just hate it.

I hate when I have put so much effort into an assignment, giving it my all, and I still didn’t receive a satisfying mark. It’s like being given a slap in the face.

The problem is, really, I care a little bit less, a little less, and less everyday.

When I see the marks, my brain went into overdrive and told me the sensible thing that I should be thinking, “That was not good enough, you have to try harder.” But then my heart started to say, “Even your best is not enough.”

So what’s the matter really, with getting another bad grade?

You start getting used to it.

During high school I’m used to good grades. The first time I received a bad grade struck me like a lightning plus tornado plus hurricane plus tsunami. Now I come to the point where, “Oh, it’s just another grade. I’ve done my best.”

Is that the right thing to think about though? Will it actually hinder me to challenge myself to do better, because I know that my best is just not enough?

I have said this to a friend who is studying business and I will say it again: when you get bad marks in those theoretical assignments, you will feel bad, when you get bad marks in your creative work, you will feel even worse.

Because it’s your baby. You have put yourself into it. Seriously, I still haven’t mastered the art of detaching yourself from your work.

The therapy? No, I’m not going to crave for comfort food (oh, wait, I’m currently having coffee). Nope, I’m writing. And you know what? It feels good.

I might already get used with receiving bad marks. But I really have done my best. Maybe it’s time to actually read the feedback and see what I’ve been doing wrong. Who knows, I might improve next time.

[on a happier note, I went to my tutorial and got my news feature draft workshopped. My tutor, the same harsh tutor that gave me that distressing mark, told me that I was already on the right track. Hopefully this time I’ll do better.]

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