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Anonymous

I hate how I would immediately come to hate myself whenever I don’t do good at anything. Especially in academics, this is stupid. It’s like my self-esteem is dependent on how well I’d do in school, and it sucks.

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2 replies
@idkwhy

Hey your academics don’t decide your future! Don’t stess too much… Life is a lot more :)

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Kavya Ganesh @kavyaganesh

As someone whose worth has always been defined by the numbers on the answer sheets, and whose identity has been based on being a good student, I relate to you a lot. Till 10th, I was a full A report card student. My grades dropped to a C and a D in 11th and 12th, even failed a preboard exam. I have many reasons to give as to why I did so badly, but the bottom line is the fact that the first time my marks went down, it shocked me to an incredible level. The more and more I saw 60s and 70s on my papers, the more and more my identity started to crumble because I didn’t feel like I was worth anything without good marks. I eventually lost everything I loved in those two years, including my identity of being a top student.

Separating your identity from that of a top student is not an easy job, I myself am still trying. What helped me most was trying to have skills other than studying, so that I could see myself as being valuable for many reasons, not just academics. Try to figure out what you’re good at other than being a good student, and grow those skills. Doesn’t matter what the skill is, doesn’t matter if this skill is something you can make money out of. It just needs to be something that you like doing and naturally feel like getting better at. When you find that skill, keep doing it and keep noting the progress. Another thing that you could try to do is think about everything that you like about yourself.

The root cause of such a deep association of self-worth with academics usually has to do with the value our friends and family gave to studying. If you really want to shift this identity and get your self-esteem back, try to ask yourself why it’s so important to you to be a good scorer.

Example:
Q-Why do I feel like I have to score well always?
A-Because it’s a measure of how much I know.
Q-Why do I need to know so much?
A-Because the amount of information I know makes me seem like a smart person
Q-Why do I want to seem like a smart person?
A-Because smart people are valued a lot.
Q-Does getting good scores mean I’m smart or does it mean I’m good at learning the given material?
Q-Would I not be valued by the people I love if I weren’t smart?

So on and so forth. Hope this helps.

PS. It’s okay to feel frustrated, you’ll figure this out soon. Good luck!

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