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The ever feared letter ‘F’

      “It’s just a letter.”

      This is the response of a chill/carefree/high person in the bathroom–err…I mean…great person when you show them an ‘F’. Now there’s a big difference between that chill person and your parents. If your parents see an ‘F’ they will get really disappointed in you.  All that over a letter? Well yes, because of how people view the letter.

      People have different reactions to the letter F, but what about students? According to The Sucide Prevention Resource Center: “Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade point averages, and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association.”  Similarly, Clarkstonnews.com states: “One bad grade can cause a student’s self-esteem to diminish.” The amount of pressure people put on a SINGLE letter, a single letter you can find on a box of cereal or just randomly walking about, is absurd.

     Another thing that doesn’t help is parental pressure. According to VeryWellFamily: “If you want your children to get good grades, you should make sure they know that’s your expectation. Right? Maybe not. Research shows that kids may interpret these expectations as pressure. And pressure to perform doesn’t help them succeed.” As a child myself, I can say firmly that most parents truly want you to succeed, but something that all parents need to realize is that we are not them. Repeatedly telling someone to do better, just isn’t helpful. Many students, big or small(imagine being short) try their hardest to get a good grade and just end up with an ‘F’, and most teachers don’t care; they only care that you failed an assignment.

     Peer pressure is another topic that needs to be mentioned. Peer pressure, believe it or not, can be a good thing, but like almost every other review of peer pressure; I’m going to be calling it bad. Everyone talks about grades; left and right people are sharing how they did on a test, but one thing everyone shies away from is bad grades. If you tell your friend group, “oh yea I did bad.” The reaction will almost always be your friends telling you to “do better”. Worst part is, if this continues the response will change; they’ll start calling you dumb or a bozo. Some would take being called dumb as a means to truly try, but others would take it as a permanent name, further increasing self doubt. This could lead to even MORE failures because now you’re labeled as dumb and you lost friends.

     Does a ‘F’ really mean that much? Well according to Christy Jenkins- Dietz, math teacher, when asked if a ‘F’ defines someone: “Absolutely not.” Wizeprep.com, a website made to help students study, declared: “Your grades do not define you. It does not matter how long it takes you to complete your degree or if your grades aren’t the best. It does not matter. You are more than your grades.”  People definitely seem to put a lot of pressure on grades, but it doesn’t matter as much as you think. Most colleges require an essay so that they get to truly see you and not a snapshot from the past. 

     At the end of the day, it’s just a letter.