The price at which you acquire something determines its monetary value in pesos; however, particularly as a student, how do you evaluate your worth?

It is indisputable that the society we are living in expects things from us, and we tend to live with these standards; we tend to acquiesce to them even if they take away the true happiness within us.

I find myself ironic for constructing a narrative about the aforementioned thing because I belong to students who grasp academic validation while sacrificing their ‘al’ states: emotional, physical, and mental.
I was able to reach 98 percent for my general average during the fourth quarter of the last school semester, which led me to attain the “with highest honors” title. Notwithstanding, I felt nothing except relief from exertion as I persevered toward that goal.

My preceding stance about my educational achievement and my wellness is as follows: ‘’Mas pipiliin kong mag-breakdown dahil hindi ako satisfied sa score ko, at ‘di dahil dahil pagod ako sa school.’’

I find this absurd because this way of thinking about life became an underlying basis for gauging my value.

Face-to-face classes commenced promptly as I was about to enter ninth-grade school. The preparation was never a snap for me, as I compelled myself to have an advanced knowledge of the topics that I would be studying once our school reopened and reviewed lessons from eighth grade that I was supposed to master during distance learning.

The recent pandemic concerns my wellness as a student, as it gives me nothing but anxiety about school and has altered my stance on obtaining academic validation.

Having said that, studying is not easy for me as I obliged myself to study in advance every night before we tackle a certain lesson because I feared not being able to ponder my teachers’ inquiry concerning our topic; this has culminated in an arduous, never-ending cycle of hope, hope that has depleted me as I demand myself to exceed my educational outcomes daily.

The excitement of stepping onstage along with my Nanay as we take our time walking while they acknowledge my countless achievements and the smile on her face as she gazes with barely-opened eyes due to the flashes of the cameras while our proud friends and relatives capture those unforgettable moments drives me to put give my all in my academics.

Don’t misconstrue me; I am the one who puts the strain on myself and not my family, which I find hilarious since no one else stresses me out except me.

I was raised in a family with two police officers, two teachers, and an engineering graduate, which I contend constitutes one of the factors that induces me to strive harder given that I do not want to disrupt the standards that society has ingrained in my mind.

In addition, I consistently received the top grade from kindergarten through ninth grade, which motivates me to uphold my standing as the best student.

‘’Ayaw kong i-break ‘yung chain ng pagiging top ko sa klase” is, in fact, a monotonous narrative that I kept pushing as my inspiration and source of hunger that propels me toward accomplishing the “with highest honors” distinction.

I once promised myself that I would cease to stress my head over matters beyond my control and allude to the idea of being stoic, but things did not go as planned.

This has spurred me to pour my greatest effort regardless of the chances as I aspire to be the one to deliver the valedictory address, imparting knowledge and recollections of lessons from my days as a junior high school student.

My greatest remorse of all revolves around the fact that I spent too much time studying and doing nothing else, which caused me to be deprived of a lot of the experiences I should have had as a kid. Living the idyllic life of society was a nightmare for me and something I never want to go through again. Never once more.

I have realized that striving for a goal with no regard for social standards is more fulfilling because, in the scheme of things, what people may think or say is meaningless.

I only took away one lesson from all of the circumstances that I had to deal with. When undertaking certain initiatives, we ought not to look to society for validation of how far we have come or how extensive and lengthy our journey has been.

The validation should come from us, not from people we try to impress.

May we unlearn the presumption that our worth is solely determined by how much we excel academically.

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