This is my first test score of college. It makes me unhappy. All of my life it seems I've gotten A's or high B's on my tests. Anything less than a high B feels like failure, and I hate it. So I walked out of the building pretty depressed, feeling like I was a failure and that I hadn't learned anything. I was fighting tears as I drudged back to my dorm, not wanting to break down and scare my roommate. And that didn't help because it only made me feel even more stupid for feeling like I was going to cry.
A C is not a bad grade, I told myself. But this class is one that I should know because I've been reading the text my entire life. So this grade hit me harder than it would have had it been for another class. What really made me upset was that I've been learning so much from this class! But this grade just doesn't show it.
I was trying to tell myself that it was okay, that now I know that I need to study a little more and study differently. I kept thinking about how much I had learned from the class. And I felt like that was more important than the grade. But then I kept worrying about how other people would see it, how other people would look at the score and scoff at me.
Then I got to my room and I felt like I should watch this video we talked about in one of my classes today. It's called "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. About halfway through his speech, I just started bawling because it was almost word for word exactly what I had been telling myself the entire way home. "Perfection may be [my] ultimate goal, but for now [I need] to be content with progress in the right direction." I've learned so much in this class, I've come so far, and I will go far. And I'm not perfect yet.
But I don't need to be perfect right now. I don't need to get the perfect grade. I need to progress. I need to learn. I need to better myself until I am capable of obtaining perfection. And then I can obtain perfection. My only options are not (in the piano analogy) performing in Carnegie Hall or quitting (meaning perfection or giving in). I have to work to get to my Carnegie Hall. I have to work to get the perfect grade.
I have to work to achieve perfection.