it may not look like it, but i am trying very hard.
you think i’m bad because i’m late to class even though
you don’t know why. look at my essays like you know
what grade they’re going to get, when you haven’t even
read them yet. you think because my quiz scores aren’t
perfect that i don’t understand.
but people have different capabilities;
maybe i’m not where i’m supposed to be,
and i need you to stop judging me for that.
all people ever see is how it looks like;
you’re never going to understand if you don’t try.
i haven’t slept right since school started, trying to solve
math problems which don’t seem to make sense. i read
the textbook before i was asked; did every single thing i
was supposed to. it’s crazy. it meant waking up at dawn
after sleeping at two in the morning.
you don’t know how it feels when your best is never
enough, and you have no idea how hard it is to keep
doing that, to keep trying anyway.
you don’t know how often we break.
i have learned to count myself strong, not because i win my
battles, but just because i face them.
we learn to compromise, sacrifice. i don’t have poems
in my head anymore (it’s a mess in there), and i don’t
have the energy to play sports. i don’t see my friends
except in the corridors, all in a rush to get somewhere.
we get no credit, and all the shame. our stories don’t
get told; they’re not the ones where people clap at the
end. we are neglected, felt sorry for, or hated. we are
spectacular at failing to amaze.
we have learned to cheer for ourselves because no one
else will. learned to act like it’s not a problem, that
coffee is your best friend, and you spend nights
studying, just to get lower scores than the rest of them.
tell yourself you’re not tired even when the minute you
start to rest you feel like you’re collapsing. always feel
like crying but you stop yourself; who cares if you’re
exhausted? you still have to finish those papers; you still
have to answer those tests.
what does any of it mean? why am i graded with a C or
a D? are they telling me i will not lead a good life, that i
am doomed already? my story has not started and no, my
fate will not be decided like this. you cannot pass
judgments on my character based on numbers on a paper.
i am more than all these requirements that never end. i
am the work i put into them. so instead of looking down on
me, let us carry ourselves with some dignity. after all, it’s not
a game; it’s not a race. we’re all stuck in the same place. and
the world is tough for everyone, regardless of our “grades.”