Throwback to the brilliant question of one very deep character (Chastity) from 10 things I hate about you (1999), can you ever be just whelmed?

Starting on that light tone, I have to tell you, was just to trick you into reading a post about how out of sorts I’m feeling at the moment.

I’m an over-achiever, and getting a bad grade is a really depressing thing for me, no matter how I try to cover it up. I don’t hide that grade, I let the comments of friends soothe me for a moment as they say, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re a good student, you’re hard working, you’ll make it up.” Variations of this come from all the people I know when I bring up a rare bad grade. But they don’t understand how soul-crushing that one bad grade is for me, it strips me of all the validation I seek from the only sources I know will always be approving as long as I work at it.

But when my punctuality, and my effort is not enough to impress a professor, because my ability really isn’t that high, it kills me. I know I didn’t put in my everything, because procrastination is my best friend and worst enemy. I can’t not avoid my work, and then I get a poorer grade than what I probably could have, and I know this sounds familiar, but for me, this is devastating. It has actually erected a block in my mind, which made me not read the texts I was supposed to, it made me not try to start rewriting the paper. My confidence in my ability is easily shaken, and those comments scribbled all over the margins of my paper are making tears flow down my cheeks as I write this now.

I can’t half-pretend that the professor’s feedback helped me, the slap in the face of those comments, as nice as the professor is, it hurt like rejection from a cute person, but 10 times worse. Academics were the one thing I had going for me, and I feel it all slipping away with each time I get a crappy (by my standards) grade. I know it’s just a grade, but I am the kind of person for whom a grade can be defining for how I feel about myself, and my ability to go on with the endless grind of assignment after assignment.

The summer heat, knowing I won’t be home for many months, craving love, worrying about the details of a trip I’m going to be taking, on top of this bad grade have made me hurt. And it hurts so much. It’s a hurt I can’t share, because it’s not something anyone else can really help with, other than for them to assure me it doesn’t matter, they still think I’m the best. That’s all I need to hear from the people in my life, but I can’t ask them for it, not outright. And that’s the weirdest part.

Another tear. I wish my room mate would just go away so I could cry in peace, but even that small comfort will be denied. So yeah, there’s no such thing as whelmed, at least not in my life. There’s only being over-whelmed and anxiety-filled.


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