Reading Between The Lines


I have a tendency to reminisce about past times in my life. Some I am more proud of than others. I think it’s healthy to occasionally look back at a time in your life where you weren’t as strong or happy, but you should never dwell because dwelling could lead to regressing which is not worth it. You should look back to only remind yourself of how far you have come or what you may still need improvement on.


Yesterday I decided to read through my report cards from high school. I didn’t go to a regular public school so report cards meant more than the average transcript. Like I’ve mentioned in older posts, I went to an art school in Natick Massachusetts to study writing and publishing. Before then, I was homeschooled online and hadn’t stepped inside of a classroom since fifth grade. At my high school, faculty and staff would type up two reports per semester to tell us how we are doing and what our averages were. In the writing and publishing program, we weren’t graded based off of a numbers or letter scale but instead by three factors: Pass, High Pass and Honors. Of course you can imagine which one seemed the most impressive.


My sophomore year – being my first year – was not as glamorous as I had hoped. It was my first year being away from home and being given a large workload on subjects I was barely coming to grips with (i.e. lineage, dangling modifiers, metaphors, meter, stakes, etc.). When I got my final report at the end of the year, I was more interested in pointing out the good I did rather than take note of where I needed improvement.

That last semester I took a playwriting course and earned a High Pass. In my other writing courses I just “Passed” with an implied, “Needs Improvement.” I remember getting so frustrated because I thought what I was doing was enough. I thought I was participating enough and turning in decent work. I never took the time to talk one-on-one with my mentors on where I needed improvement and their recommendations.


Near the end of junior year, I was able to turn myself around. I started taking risks, speaking up in class, and pushed myself in anyway I could. I would turn in work that hadn’t been assigned for additional feedback and always have other pieces on the back burner. At the end of the year I received an award for most excelled student of the semester and that’s when I knew my hard work really paid off.


As for my senior year, I earned good marks but I was more excited about college and wasn’t giving teachers the attention they deserved. I remember graduating with Honors and was actually surprised I did that well.


After skimming through this pile of report cards, I realized how much I changed within months before starting my freshman year at SNHU. I maintained a 3.5 or high GPA for all four years and never earned anything less than a 80 on any paper or test. I took everything seriously and met with my professors on the regular to show them I was passionate about their class (even if it wasn’t part of my major).


Although I was 15 years old when put in my high school’s intense environment that was, I’ve realized I did pretty well. I was young and hadn’t been in a classroom for five years. No one had ever set high expectations for me and it was the first time I was really being pushed.


I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes when reading some of the comments because I know NOW I could Pass all those classes and bring even more to the table. I guess it all comes down to the concept of personal responsibility.


I didn’t realize how important my classes were until I saw my grades drop.


While in college, I never thought twice about trying hard or not. I wanted good grades.


When I graduated with Honors in high school I was shocked.


I made sure I graduated college with Honors. I was more aware of what I needed to do to reach my goals and made them a priority.

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