There is one thing that is the most feared situation by teenagers and college students: failing your classes.
It brings chills to the back of your neck and your heart rate speeds up just thinking about the potential idea of not getting above a certain letter grade. It’s a bit hilarious how much effort some students will put into a certain class to not fail or get a bad grade.
In my physics class, most of the students take APUSH. Now, if you don’t know what APUSH is I suggest you run as far away from it as you can. From what I hear, it is a nightmare. It takes away any time you thought you had and has you engulfed in chapter outlines and tests.
Now these students who were brave enough to take this class put aside all their other homework to do work for APUSH. They know they have a good grade in their other classes so they sacrifice their time that would be spent on those classes to try and finish their outlines for AP U.S. History and study for the extremely difficult tests.
They put so much effort into this one class that they start forgetting that they have other classes as well.
In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the main character Holden was failing all of his classes, except for one. He had passed English, because he said “…I didn’t have to do any work in English at all hardly…” (page 10, Salinger).
Now, I took five classes my freshman year and I was failing all of them, but one. I had D’s and F’s and I was sick of school. I was actually entertaining the thought of dropping out, because there was so much work given for me to do and I just didn’t want to do it. This year, I have straight A’s and I have no homework almost every single day.
Holden passed English, because he didn’t have to do any work. I’m passing my classes, because I don’t have to do any work. I think you’re seeing the pattern here.
APUSH makes you put all your effort into just that one class to barely scrape out a B and I sit around doing nothing and I get an A. I’m sensing that there is something very wrong with this situation.
In the novel, Holden doesn’t seem to be worried that he’s failing all his classes and that he got expelled from school. He’s a bit nonchalant about things that should be monumental in his life.
Holden has figured out a huge key in life. Your job, your friends, your adult life, these things are not going to give you “letter grades” when you get older. You are going to be seen based upon your social skills and your personality. If you spend your entire childhood trying to get that one letter grade, you’re going to have an extremely hard time when you get to the real world.
APUSH isn’t going to get you a job. Getting an A in chemistry is not going to get you a job. A job requires experience and having fun. Finding something you enjoy is going to get you very far in your job search. Holden spends his days having fun. He jokes around and acts silly in the middle of a conversation, no matter who he is with. He made a mistake and went around and bought a new hat for himself to enjoy the time he had after he messed up.
Don’t worry about putting your heart and soul into one class and focus on something that you enjoy. It will work out a lot better for you in the long run anyways.