Tag Archive: high

Due to my insane desire to earn a “gold star” (fulfill the lettering requirements) in Orchestra, I found myself reflecting on my junior year of high school. The one that happened last school year. Mostly, I needed to remember all the music related activities I did because I can earn points for them. I thought of a bunch from my freshmen and sophomore years and, obviously, this year was easier to remember, but nothing stuck out to me about my junior year, which I thought was really odd. I have really loved high school and I figured I would remember more of it. So, I decided to go back through my Twitter feed to see if I’d posted anything useful. I tried Facebook first, but I have no informative posts on there, for some reason.

Naturally, my Twitter feed is pretty useless. Not to mention disjointed. It has reminded me of things that were happening a year ago, though. I remarked a lot about things that weren’t really interesting to me then, but have since become important to me.

One year ago, I was very sure about my future. I was going to major in English because that was the only thing I could conceivably be interested in long-term. Now, one year later, I am seriously considering changing my major to something related to Chemistry or at the very least do a double major with English. I’m realizing that I avoid thinking about my future as much as I can. I’ve never been the type of person to look at things with a long-term perspective.

I’ve always been what those in the NaNoWriMo circle call a “pantser.” I fly by the seat of my pants and just make things up as they come along. For some reason this has always worked well for me. Every English paper I need to write comes about in half an hour to an hour of sprint-writing. I usually get perfect grades (except for in English 1010…).

This year, however, I’ve involved myself in every extracurricular activity that I could that requires preparation and anticipation. It’s been horrible and amazing. For the most part, it just irritates my anxiety, but I wouldn’t be doing them if they weren’t immensely fun. I wasn’t going to go into detail, but now I feel like it, which means this post is going to be SUPER long and no one is going to get to the bottom. Actually, I’m going to make this a series of blog posts. It’s about time I get this out of my head.

The first thing I got myself into was AP Chemistry. I had a fantastic time in Chemistry my junior year and my teacher was one of my favorite people. He kept telling me I should do AP Chemistry, which I signed up for without hesitation. After all, I was finding AP Literature easy, so AP Chemistry couldn’t be that hard, right? Normal Chemistry was a cinch, so AP Chemistry couldn’t be too complicated, could it?

AP Chemistry was probably the first sign I had that I had been babied my whole public school experience. The work was so intensive that, if I weren’t so prideful, I would have quit after the first trimester. We started out with nine people in the class. Two were gone by the end of the first week and we lost another only halfway through the trimester. At the beginning of the second trimester, we lost another and one became the teacher’s assistant to avoid the work. There were four of us left. Quite honestly, I don’t remember a lot about that first trimester. I was just barely keeping it together and the other people in the class weren’t really interested in bonding.

During the second trimester, the four of us who remained became a strange brand of friends. I’m not really sure what kind of friends we are. Kayla and I are in Orchestra together. We were pretty good friends before AP Chem, so I think we would have been good friends anyway. There’s just something about all the hard work we’ve done together and being the only two girls from the beginning. We aren’t as smart as the boys, but we get by well enough. Edward runs with the same group of friends as I do, but we’ve never been… chummy. In AP Chem, though, we make nerd jokes that Kayla and Jason don’t really understand. Jason and I would not be more than acquaintances if not for AP Chem. He’s more of a popular guy. He’s into sports and things, but he’s also my partner for our Science Olympiad team and we’ve become closer friends through being both really good and really bad at our events.

The four of us and our teacher have a fantastic time in class, joking, finding science interesting, and teasing each other. The environment just helps me not be stressed about how much I truly suck at it. For once in my life, I’m not naturally good at the subject. It isn’t even like math where I just do not try at all. I try so hard to understand the concepts and I do, eventually, it just takes me a lot longer to get it than the others seem to. For once, I’m not the smart kid, I’m the one who gets the worst scores consistently. The thing is that… I just really like it. Things don’t usually hold my attention like Chemistry does. Not even English and I LOVE English.

It’s weird that this whole experience doesn’t seem disheartening to me. I think that’s what happened with me and math. I find math interesting, actually, but in ninth grade Geometry, I didn’t quite get it and everything just got harder and I got discouraged and gave up. I settled for B’s in math because those were the grades I could get without having to apply myself very much. That isn’t happening with Chemistry, though. The further we get into it, the more the stuff I didn’t understand before gets applied and I finally understand what it’s for. I’m still behind the other people because they can look at a problem and tell me how to get an answer and spout equations like none other and I just stare at the problem.

I’m really not sure how well I’m going to do on the AP Chem exam, but every time I express doubt, my teacher and classmates encourage me and I feel like I have some sort of a chance. Of course, I should be studying for said test right now instead of blogging, but I’m in a mood.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m standing outside a door that is beginning to open rather than like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff. I feel like AP Chemistry has propelled me to this pathway and I feel like I can do things. For my whole life, I thought I would grow up and only do the things that came naturally to me, but struggling through Chemistry has shown me that I can do anything I want to do. I can accomplish hard things if I want to and I’m finding that I want to.

People say that you can do anything you want all the time, and I knew that I could do anything, but I never thought I was motivated enough to do hard things. Now that I want to do the work and dive into the hard things, I feel like I have options. It’s a feeling that I can’t really describe. My randomly signing up for AP Chemistry gave this to me and I will never regret that, even if I fail the AP exam and end up a loser, alone with a crummy job that provides no challenge or interest to me, I won’t ever regret the things I’ve learned and I won’t forget the people it brought me close to.

Next in the series.


The Procrastination Continues

I don’t think it’s likely to ever stop, actually. As much as I tell myself that I’m not going to procrastinate things when I get into college or an actual job, I kind of doubt that I’ll be able to throw off the years of habitual procrastination.

Anyway… I would really love to say that this blog post isn’t going to be just me complaining, but I’ll be honest. This post is definitely me complaining. No matter how much I can cleverly make it sound like I’m just pondering life questions and being philosophical, it’s just me in my bedroom, procrastinating my AP Chemistry homework.

I don’t care how motivated and against procrastination you are; if you were in my AP Chemistry class, you’d be procrastinating. Exhibit A: my friend Kayla. Kayla is the only other girl in my AP Chemistry class, which sounds sad only until you know that there are only seven (soon to be six) people in our class. We’re smarter than those guys anyway… no, we aren’t. The point is, out of all the geniuses in our class, Kayla is the one most likely to succeed. She is literally first in our graduating class. Seriously, when we get our transcripts, we’re ranked out of everyone in our grade. I’m usually around 100 out of 300 and Kayla is always numero uno.

She’s had a 4.0 since probably elementary school and she doesn’t procrastinate. She goes home, her mother sits her down at the table and she gets all her homework done. Always. She was even in my AP Literature class, which was pretty rigorous. She never skipped a day of reading or an essay. Not only does she get fantastic grades, but she’s awesome as well. We watched BBC Sherlock at another friend’s house once.

Little Kayla; practically perfect in every way. Even she procrastinates our AP Chemistry homework. It’s so hard.

Unfortunately, the end of out trimester is in two days. The time to procrastinate has gone and I’ve been working on my AP Chemistry homework all day. Well, all day since I got home from church. There are three biggish things that I have to do, so I’ve prioritized them and whatnot, but now, eight hours later, I’m not even half-way done with the first thing on my list.

I have a whole host of lame excuses for not having it finished. One of those things is that I have a headache that my drugs didn’t take care of this time, which infuriates me just a little, along with not being able to sit up straight because my back hurts from sitting up straight upon request from my physical therapist. Because of this, I took a few hours to nap and then I tried to watch a documentary while I worked, but that didn’t pan out and now that I’ve napped, I’m super tired. I had to wake up earlier than normal this morning after having stayed out late  last night (role-playing a gnome, I might add).

Crap… this is getting too whiny… Now I shall make up something profound.

A lot of different people (teachers, parents) try to tell kids that they have to learn how to work while they’re young so that they’ll have a good work ethic when they grow up. Part of that ideal work ethic is the ability to do something that’s super hard even though you don’t want to do it.

I grew up in a pretty hard-working family. My parents volunteer us for every service project that hear about, which is fine most of the time. However, because of a few different factors (ones that I call genetic factors, just so I can blame stuff on my parents), lethargy is one of the things at the top of the list of things I struggle with the most. My grades in school haven’t always been the best, not because I don’t understand the material (though sometimes that is the case), but because I can’t seem to force myself to do the homework.

This is even worse than me trying to get up in the morning. I hate getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I schedule fifteen extra minutes in the morning that I use to get myself out of bed. It’s kind of pathetic, but I am not a morning person and it could be worse. Fortunately, since I got into high school, I’ve become slightly better at forcing myself to do stuff. The key is to make yourself interested in the work you have to do. Whenever I have to write English papers or essays, I get myself really excited because it’s the one time that I can (sneakily) incorporate sarcasm into my school work (my AP Lit teacher would frown at me right now and insist that it’s actually just verbal irony and not sarcasm).

I could go on with this, but I’m writing this blog post so that I don’t have to do my Chemistry homework. I swear I’m interested in the stuff we’re learning, but I just don’t want to have to plug a bunch of different numbers into the same three equations all night long.