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Today, I checked my grade for my Latin Survey course.

I got a B.

My heart sank, I was angry, I was surprised. I wanted to cry but I knew crying was a stupid reaction to getting a bad grade. So I waited a few minutes to cry.

I didn’t deserve an A in that course. I assumed I’d get a B+ but I was hoping I’d get lucky and wind up with an A-. But I got a B.

There were many times in undergrad were I was glad to get a B in a class. A B+ was great news and an A- was like heaven. But life has changed and so have my expectations.

Right now, I’m still pretty angry but I’m also really distraught. I guess this happens to me fairly often. I tend to get these identity crises after rough events like this. I know a B doesn’t sound too much like a rough event but for me it really is. For me, a B is a like statement that there are no second chances, there is no grace, and nothing is good in the world. I know that sounds dramatic but for me it is that dramatic. For me it feels like I’m trying to work within a system that doesn’t want me. It feels like I’m trying to conform to some random form of ‘goodness’, a form I don’t actually agree with, and I’m failing miserably. It feels like that carnival attraction where you strap on a stretchy-rope and run forward as hard and fast as you can until, eventually, the rope pulls you back and you crash.

That’s what life feels like for me sometimes. That’s what these past couple months have felt like for me. And I hate the stress of trying to fit in where I clearly don’t. I hate the stress of doing things I don’t want to do. I hate the stress that’s associated with working in a field where most of the people don’t look like me and everyone seems to be OK with that. I hate that my mind thinks differently. I hate that I’ve been branded because of what I have or haven’t done. I hate that people look at me and expect me to be a certain way. I hate that, if I make a mistake, I run the risk of reinforcing whatever stereotypes people have about me. I hate that I’m aware of these things and it makes me upset and it makes me feel hopeless.

A few hours ago, I was optimistic. I thought that I could be the one to help usher in change. I’m not really optimistic anymore. I’m just sad. I’m just confused. I’m just stressed. It just feels like everything is working against me. I feel alone, because I know no one quite knows what it feels like. No one understands exactly. People can sympathize and empathize (and I’m sure they will) but it will still feel distant. It’ll still feel like platitudes.

I just wish I didn’t feel so hopeless. I wish I knew what I needed to do. But I have no idea about any of this.

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