Dear Diary: (AP)titude Doesn't Mean a 5

WORDS BY IRINE LE / @IRLIRINE

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Dear Diary

Also, I'd like to redirect College Board, future college admissions officers, and whichever high ranking education people with advanced degrees that will somehow decide my future from test scores and my transcript to this diary entry as well. 
   It's past midnight and I'm feeling more like APUSH(ing myself off a cliff), rather than completing this AP U.S History homework. As a rising senior who is very much feeling the notorious stress and pressure from junior year, let me just assure you that I will succeed. Is it ironic that I'm writing about how I feel like I can’t keep up with the pressure of school anymore, but I know that I will be able to make it out alive and hopefully okay? 
   It took me a few years, but I feel like the last line above is something that should be permanently etched into my mind. As high schoolers, sometimes we're presented with so many AP's or honors classes that maybe we take them because we want the possible college credit or maybe we just love a challenge for a subject that we’ve always loved. However, taking all of these classes and trying to juggle what we like to do on our own time after we’re free from the classroom? That's where it starts to get challenging. 
   Especially during junior year, I've learned to try to not let a four-digit number from the SATs dictate where I 
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stand in life or where I go. Yeah, I took the SATs cold without prep (maybe that was not necessarily a good idea). But, you know, I can always take it again, right? That's another thing I've grown to learn this year: life goes on. Sure, you can go to college when you're sixty or learn French in a classroom setting anywhere and any time, but in high school, they make it seem like it’s now or never. Like, oh, you have exactly this amount of weeks to raise your grade before the final if you don’t wanna see your grade go up in smoke afterward. But, does the pressure in high school sometimes reach a point where it's better to just give up and take the lower grade, than maybe stay up an extra thirty minutes by a dim light to finish homework?
   Does this mean I've given up entirely with school? Honestly, there are times when I have. Do I keep pushing through, imaging how this will eventually pay off in the long run, when I'm walking across the stage next year, a new diploma in my hand and a tassel flipped? I try my best to do so. 
   Maybe you've had this message regurgitated back to you a million times, or it's an old adage at this point, but it's what I've spent this entire year trying to teach myself, and I think I'm finally starting to believe in it: numbers do not define me. I am not a number that was given to me by a teacher or a standardized test from when I was sixteen. And for the first time in forever (is that a song from Frozen?), I think I'll be okay

Sincerely, 
Irine

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