As we settle into Winter Quarter, it is important to remind ourselves that our grades do not define us as people. While it is good to strive to do your best, it is important to know your own limits and cater to them always. Read on to hear Peer Educator, Rebeca’s thoughts about the education system and self love!
YOU ARE NOT A GRADE
by Rebeca Najarro
We are a part of a system, the education system. It is a system that oppresses us and dehumanizes us. It is a system that makes us to be mass, where we are simply numbers. As students in higher education, we have reached a point where we continue to be subjugated by the structure of our knowledge.
This seems like a tense and rather, resentful, introduction to our education system, however, the more you come to know about the foundation, the more you will realize that you are subject to it as well. We have grown in an environment where we associate the letters of the alphabet with our intelligence and our worth: A, B, C, and F. As we move through levels of knowledge, from elementary school to high school, we delve deeper and deeper into the degradation of our value to society. A “C” no longer cuts it for college applications and a “D” may ruin your chances of graduating. We are painted to be products of our grade point averages, stereotypes and biases laying hidden beneath what our schools teach us to believe.
The point behind this entire rant is that: IT IS NOT TRUE. You are not just a number. Your worth is not determined by your GPA. You are not stupid for getting a C on your last exam, presentation, or paper and you are most definitely NOT stupid for failing a class. Most importantly, an education does not make you who you are. Yes, we have grown to believe this, but with time we can learn that we are much more than what the system tells us. YOU are YOU. Education is not for everyone. It should not be a make or break situation, it should be an experience and a privilege, to take what we learn and make a difference.
As a person of color, it is particularly difficult to make it to higher education. We face racism and discrimination; we face having to overcome the stereotypes and biases that the system has made for us. It is believed that many of us will not graduate college, or let alone high school. LOOK AT US THOUGH!!! We have made it this far. Some of us do not come from privileged backgrounds, some of us do not have the support, some of us did not have access to better education when we were younger, and some of us are the very first in our families to step foot on a college campus.
It is also important to know that just because we are here, it does not make us better than any one else. We have had the privilege of getting here, when others have not. For many people, that means their parents did not have the opportunity to get to higher education. We will learn a lot on this journey, and what we must do is spread our love, spread our knowledge, and advocate for the rights of others because that “C+” in Psycholinguistics will not matter, it will mot define you, and you may not remember it, when you are making a difference in this world.