This #DropYourHonorsChallenge Entry Is Proof That Life Isn't All About Good Grades

"How you will ace life after school is the real challenge."
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Oct 9, 2020
Image: FACEBOOK/Marky Bee
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All sorts of challenges have taken over social media, one of which is the #DropYourHonorsChallenge where people list down their academic achievements over the years. While some people might feel envious of everyone else's hard-earned medals and accomplishments, there's one post that under the hashtag that might inspire you to work on your goals at your own pace.

Mark Darrel Bernadas was an academic achiever all his life. He was a valedictorian from elementary up until high school and graduated magna cum laude in college. His life story, which he shared through the challenge's hashtag, however, is proof that life isn't all about grades. As of writing, Mark's post has amassed over 70,000 likes and over 5,000 comments on Facebook.

Read his entire entry below:

"This is not to brag. I hope pupils and students who will read this will come to realize why it isn’t all about those f*cking GRADES.


"Elementary: Class Valedictorian

"High School: Class Valedictorian & UPCAT Passer qualified to U.P. Diliman

"College: Magna Cum Laude/ International Exchange Student to United States of America under Work & Travel Program/ PRC LET Passer & Civil Service Eligible

"At Present: Graduate School Drop-out. Single. Unemployed. Broke AF. No investments. Nada.

"Starting from scratch and patuloy na lumalaban...

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"Lesson: Nothing wrong to always academically excel in school dahil ang honors, awards, and other recognitions, they are not always served on a silver platter, pinaghihirapan at pinagpupuyatan 'yan. You can use it to your advantage later on but it does NOT always guarantee success in life. Class valedictorians don’t always fare well in life, they don’t always become rich & famous, because while their IQs are high, their EQs are low.

"They’re booksmart, yes, but they’re always edged out by those who are streetsmart. You may Google the story of Shaira Luna, 1/3 of the '90s Promil genius kids, who at some point became an underachiever. It took her awhile to find her true passion. People expected her to become a renowned scientist or a world-class flutist. But she has become a photographer.


"To teachers and parents, more than educating children academically, please hone their talents and skills because it will help them figure out what they want to pursue in life, and take good care of their mental and emotional well-being.

"To pupils and students, study hard for learning and not for numbers. Grades are just a bonus.

"Compete with no one. How you will ace life after school is the real challenge.

"To everyone who feels like they haven’t achieved anything yet in life, chill. We have different timelines. Carry on. It is never too late to re-invent yourself, pursue your passion, and find that happiness.

"Some people know what they want and become successful at a young age. Others find it later in life. Pursue what makes you truly happy and f*ck off those timeline and timetable, pressure and deadline imposed by the society on you.

"Comparison breeds misery. If your classmates or batchmates are now happily married, have stable jobs, have professional titles, live in beautiful houses, driving the latest car models, or are always traveling overseas, just be happy for them.


"Life isn’t a race. Just keep going. Things will eventually fall into proper places. You may not have all the things that others have but when along the way you discover what is your true purpose in life, you’ll be delighted. That. Will. Complete. You."

"P.S. I’m writing this not for clout. Actually, sumisikip dibdib ko while holding back my tears. I could’ve shelved my personal story but I believe this may somehow be someone else’s survival guide. So I’m sharing a piece of me."


* The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect that of the Candy editorial team.


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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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"Just want to know what false narrative I said in public? I [have] been reaching out to all of you for 15 years in private."