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December 5, 2011 / windlessly

Matching your own standards

At what point do things become more of a matter of self-expectation than expectation from others? It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain. Everyone keeps mentioning that “oh, it’s your senior year, you’re basically done and can slack off.” But there’s something inside of me that refuses to just let everything go. Of course, people with senioritis don’t completely forgo work, but it’s the mindset of “I don’t care” that starts to influence their work. I got a test grade that was much lower than usual a few weeks ago and I felt myself grappling with a similar situation. A part of me wanted to blow it off, but another part of me was berating myself for the low grade. No matter where you might be throughout your senior year, it’s never a good feeling to achieve less than what you know you can achieve.

I guess it’s something hardwired into my brain. It was just that feeling of “darn, I could’ve done better” that stuck with me the rest of the day. I get it all the time when I miss easy questions or get points taken off for careless mistakes. So at that point, I was trying to differentiate between being apathetic and accepting it and moving on. I definitely understand the whole senioritis concept but I don’t think my brain will ever let me be totally careless about all my schoolwork. Or any work, for that matter. I was in the library the other day volunteering and shelving books. I had a huge cart of children’s picture books and was dutifully shelving them alphabetically (well what other way would you shelve them?) when I saw a bunch of books misplaced on a shelf. I could’ve just skipped over it, thinking that it wasn’t my problem, as long as I did my part right. But I couldn’t. There was that twinge of guilt, that prodding of my conscious, that even against my rationale and will, forced me to go back and rearrange all the picture books on the shelf so that it matched my internal standards. Orrrr it was just a hint of my OCD, but I guess I’ll leave that up to you.

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