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An Open Letter to the Girl Who Thinks She’s Defined by Her Grades

Dear fellow collegiate, 

As many of you may have already experienced, college can throw ten tests, four essays and three projects at you all in one week. During that week, you barely even function, you eat just enough to stay alive and you hardly sleep the required amount you need to function correctly. This last week, I had tests in my three hardest classes: economics, accounting and pre-calculus. I told myself that this year would be different and that I would get all A's but suddenly all these tests were rushing at me. It may sound depressing, but this week was one of the hardest weeks of my life, all due to these tests. I reached an extremely low point and ended up crying in my car because I had nowhere else to go. This was the first time in a long time that I reached a point where I felt so hopeless and down on myself. As I look back on the time I spent in my car crying like the whole world was ending, I realized a few things about my life. 

Just because you do terrible on one test doesn't mean that you aren't cut out for college or that you are stupid. 

Everyone has a bad day sometimes, and sometimes you get your test and everything flies out of your mind, but that doesn't mean you are stupid. With every test, you become wiser and can refine the way you study. It doesn't mean that you have to drop out just because there's one hard class. Every semester there's going to be that one class that gives you a run for your money, but that doesn't mean you aren't cut out for this. With every struggle, you are made stronger. With every class you spend hours studying for, you learn how to learn. You will get through this seemingly impossible class, I promise. 

God, and everyone else too, will love you anyway even if you don't get a 4.0.

When people look at you, they don't see how many A's or B's you've made throughout your academic career. They see your personality, they see someone who is caring and loving and has things to offer to this world that no one else can contribute. They see someone with an exuberant personality who would do anything for the people that she loves. At the end of the day, your grades don't matter to the people who love you. They have loved you long before your grades started to matter and they will love you long after you are finished with your education. 

God's love for you is truly never ending and he sees everything that you can be. He sees who you truly are and loves you for it, even if you can't do math. You're perfect in his eyes and will always be perfect to him. If you let God's love enter your heart and fill you, then I truly believe you can do anything and accomplish anything with God by your side.

Lastly, you are the choices you make.

If you choose to give up, it demonstrates a lot about your personality. But if you're a fighter and choose to get back up and continue to study after you've been bawling, then you have nothing to be sorry for. You can take that test knowing that you've done every single thing you can to ensure that you can get the best grade possible. If you are a fighter, this can translate to other parts of your life. You will ultimately fight for the life you want instead of staying on the side lines and letting everyone else control it for you. 

Just remember that you are so much more than a simple test. You are strong, independent and beautiful, and you don't need to be defined by a couple of numbers. 

Erin Gilmore is a Georgia native, born and raised in Forsyth County. Since 2015, she has been attending The University of Georgia. She is majoring in Risk Management and Insurance and Advertising. She loves to learn new things and go on adventures with her friends. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her dogs, read and travel.
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