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An Open Letter to the Girl Who Always Puts Her Academics First

"Close that book for a day or two and have the time of your life away from your desk."
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Let's face it, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a report card filled with straight As and line of nines. Ever since you were a kid, you've always set yourself up to such a standard because, aside from how others expected much from you, you expected much from yourself too. As the years went by, time for leisure had become less frequent because you'd have no other choice but to stay in and study for an upcoming quiz. When your classmates would head to the nearest fast food chain after dismissal to laugh over French fries and prospective boy crushes, you'd be the first to bid farewell, the pile of advanced readings for the next day haunting your mind.

You've always believed that grades were your defining factor, that if everything else in your life were to fall apart or leave you, a neat transcript would always have your back. You go to sleep dreaming of your parents' proud faces after every grading period, and how it comforts you knowing you've lived up to the standard you set for yourself.

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However, you must remember that there is life outside the classroom competition; that there is so much more to experience in school aside from constantly vying for top honors and having your back hunched over a book.

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Apart from home, school is the place where you can fully shape the person you want to become. You create the life you want to live in the future. You make friends and lose them, you break hearts as yours gets broken too, you make mistakes and trip over your own two feet, but these will mold you into the person you are meant to be.

If you're too focused on keeping your record straight with 94s and 99s, you'll look back and regret not trying to discover yourself way back in high school.

You'll miss the chance to embarrass yourself in front of the guy you like, and you won't have anything to laugh back at with your girlfriends. Maybe, you'll even miss the chance to bond with them because of how you put academics before your social life. You'll see all of your old pals at the annual reunion and, as they reminisce on all the crazy antics they were up to, you sit on the sidelines, regretting how you never took part in living a hyped-up teenage life like they did.

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You'll pass up the opportunity to know the person you really are; what your passion really is, who you want to be, who you wish to love. You ignore the real world around you because you're too focused on what's waiting for you at the finish line: a shiny gold medal and applause at the family reunion. As great as these may sound, they're not the only treasures life has to offer. The true testimony of a well-lived high school life are the memories you take with you when you leave.

You ignore the real world around you because you're too focused on what's waiting for you at the finish line: a shiny gold medal and applause at the family reunion.

To the girl who puts her academics before herself or anything else, break out of the box before it's too late. Close that book for a day or two and have the time of your life away from your desk. Start hanging out again with your barkada and create memories you'll enjoy looking back on. Life's too short to be spent too much on temporary things that you will probably end up forgetting—like your grades!

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Hope you find school-life balance, Candy Girls!

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About the author
Gillian Sun
Candymag.com Correspondent
A millennium-born Bisaya belle who dreams of becoming a respected radiologist. Born and raised in Cagayan de Oro, she aims to inspire girls to never underestimate what one is capable of, because greatness comes when we believe in ourselves.
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