Final Marks

crazywriterToday, I walked out of my high school for the last time as a sophomore. Usually, I slip out a side exit to walk home more quickly, but I left through the main door today. For the drama. I will never forget how it felt to thrust my hands against that door, push it open, walk into the thick summer heat. I will never forget how it felt to walk by the rocks at the front of the school, intentionally between the second and third smallest. I will never forget stopping, looking back on the campus, and sprinting back to my house. I will never forget this past year.

As a freshman, I received straight A’s. I got good grades, put forth my (sort of) best effort, and did what I was told. I generated work like a factory. That’s what most students wish for–those high percentages necessary to get into a good school. I did not achieve those high percentages this year. My grades weren’t God-awful–I passed all my classes with better than D’s–but they weren’t anything to write home about, and I just wasn’t the student I once was. In fact, if my freshman self could have met my sophomore self, she would have been shocked. How dare I miss half my homework assignments? How dare I drag myself into school ten minutes late every morning? How dare I doze off during my first classes? She would have been horrified.

Maybe it’s true. I have been a bit horrific. A lazy, tardy, woolgathering slob with a slight disregard for mindless authority. But in letting myself go, I lit up a whole new part of me that I thought was only drenched wood. On required reflections, I turned in the truth. I went against the grain. I voiced my opinions and let my wittiness shine through. I was honest and open, with genuineness gracing everything I wrote. I made impromptu motivational speeches to my class. I went out of my way to uplift and inspire. When I read through all my yearbook signatures this evening, I began to tear up. The blank pages were covered not in scrawled have-a-great-summers, but in paragraphs. Paragraphs thanking me for my optimism, creativity, and loving personality. Paragraphs written by students, telling me that I have made a difference in their life and changed their worldview. Paragraphs written by teachers, telling me that I have inspired them. Paragraphs reminding me of my own worth and value. Paragraphs thanking me for being me.

I have done something this year, something far more important than my homework. I have done what seemed impossible before. When I open my yearbook and see those beautiful paragraphs, when I reflect on the positive imprints I have made on the hearts of others–I I realize that those are my final marks.

Those are the marks that count.

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About Dauntlessly Cautious

I’m Abigail, a wildly emotional teenage blogger-empress. Sometimes I blog about my copious feelings. Sometimes–a lot, actually–I blog about my past. Sometimes it’s random and unexpected–romantic thoughts passing by, an odd dream I had, and so on. Oh yes, and I have a lot of opinions. Chances are you’ll disagree with at least one of them. I started blogging in April 2013, a little before my fourteenth birthday. Since then, I’ve published many posts–some groundbreaking and ingenious, some embarrassingly dismal. No matter their quality, however, they all play some sort of a part in my life story. If you’re in a stalking mood, read how my attitude changes from good to bad and back to better again. It’s all me. This is the mind of the odd, imaginative girl you see in the hallways, the cafeteria, and in classes. This is the heart of a human battlefield turned into a wonderful, scar-littered garden of hopes and dreams. Welcome to the two (or three, or four) sides of me–the daunting and the rash, the apprehensive and the careful.

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