As a senior who has consistently taken honors and AP level classes since 7th grade, I have experienced my fair share of homework, tests, make-up work, and grade fluctuations. From struggling to keep an “A” in Mr. Timothy Vankirk’s AP Chemistry class, to my ‘smooth sailing’ in Mr. Mark Belanger’s French II Honors class, I have developed a work ethic almost impossible to be imitated.

Recently, I went on a 5-day trip to Washington, D.C. for  a leadership conference. I missed three extremely important days of school.

I missed a test in AP Calculus, a Constitution Scavenger Hunt and Composition notebook check in AP Government, test preparation for Unit 1 in AP Biology, a laboratory activity in Anatomy & Physiology Honors, and group activities with poetry and literary terms in AP English Literature.

I was able to gather some of my make-up work before I left for D.C., but who wants to do homework on the trip of a lifetime? I planned on procrastinating until I got home Tuesday night, but ironically, my luggage went on a different plane and wouldn’t arrive until later that evening. This meant that I wasn’t going to be able to do my homework until school the next day.

Four of my teachers put in the make-up assignments in their gradebooks a score of zero before I returned. I first found out about my failing grades when my dad came to pick me up from the airport and said “Tazia, you know you have an ‘F’ in government, right?” I shrugged it off because I knew it was due to the missing assignments.

Upon my return to school,  I logged into my Parentlink account only to notice that I had two F’s and a D, instead of the long and monotonous chain of A’s. To my surprise, seeing the lower grades did not set off panic signals in my head like what would normally happen for even a B.

Because of this simple grade placeholder, I can now say I have honestly earned an F in not only one class, but in two, and a D in another. I have now experienced what it is like to open Parentlink and not see a giant list of erroneous A’s in each class. I have failed, literally.

I am finally like other average-achieving teenagers who don’t have perfect grades. I am a rebel! To everyone who thinks that I, Tazia Statucki, have perfect grades: I don’t. In fact, right now, I bet you have better grades than I do.

Any other time of the year, I would have a panic attack, hyperventilate, and probably cry myself to sleep thinking to myself “I am a failure.” Yes, you could still say I am an overachiever because I had my grades back up to where they should be in two days, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I have always been stereotyped as the perfect student with perfect grades who has no life. Although this may be partially true, I can confidently say that earning two F’s and a D is not characteristic of an overachiever with grades to envy.