If you were to look at my grade card I would be considered an excellent student. I have had mostly A's, and a B in my world is an F in every other normal person's. I took almost every advanced class that my school offered and I even enrolled in college classes as a high school student. The only thing that separated me from the rest of the "super-nerds" was the fact that I was the dumbest person in the advanced classes...I know I know, there are worse things. But think about the cool kids in school and then think about that one person that is in the "cool" group but is almost out at the same time. He or she is on the outside of the group and doesn't really fit in there and he or she doesn't really fit into any other group of people either. This is exactly how my entire academic career in high school has been.
Now I'm not complaining. I am blessed to have my big, beautiful brain and my willingness to learn. I just want to let all of those almost-nerds out there that they are not alone. School is hard for you, but by choice. You get great grades, but with hard work. Being an almost-nerd means that you struggle to get good grades. For example, I was in a calculus class but I was the only one in the class to never do good on a test. Not one time did I get an A on a test in that class. At that point most people would give up. Most people take an easier class or drop out all together. The thing with almost-nerds is that they cant. We are too smart for a more basic class but not smart enough to keep up with the super-nerds. This struggle defines us. We are fighters and the late-nighters. We are an entire society of "too good," but "not good enough." There are so many of us that struggle alone.
What I was surprised to find was that this made me a greater person. This made me fight to keep up with my peers. I have a work ethic like no other and I am NEVER afraid to ask the teacher a question. I know when I can't handle what is being thrown at me but I also know how to deal with great amounts of stress. Getting good grades is important and nothing feels better than opening a grade card that you are proud of but in the real work the almost-nerd are the ones who are going to make it in life. Employers look for more than perfect attendance and straight-A's; they want people who aren't afraid to fight for what they want. They want us to strive for the top and push boundaries and be awesome in the things that we are good at, not perfect.
Some advice for my fellow almost-nerds. Don't ever lose that fight inside of you. If you can't be the best in that physics class, don't sweat it. Don't stress ALL the time, a little stress is okay. Stop looking at yourself as always being second best, because you're not. If you are working your butt off and you come up a little short, don't think of it as a failure. As long as you are giving it your all then you are not failing. You're pushing yourself, you're learning, you're growing, but you are never failing. Conquer the world almost-nerd, I believe in you.
Lead Image Credit: LSE Library via Flickr Creative Commons