Everyone The realization that it is okay to not

Everyone has heard that high school is the time of the most change. Upon beginning the ninth grade, I felt like a child. My high school career and adult career were not my primary focus. By only the eleventh grade, however, I have a completely different set of plans and goals. My ninth grade self wouldn’t believe the person I have become today. Fortunately, the changes since my freshman year have been for the better.
Almost all of my characteristics have been altered in the past three years. In my opinion, the most important change has been my new understanding for the importance of education. During my first two years of high school, I had absolutely no motivation. I felt that things could get done themselves and that I could get through school by winging it. This assumption was the farthest thing from true. Just trying to “get by” in school is not an option. Gaining motivation to do good in school has given me so many more opportunities and so much more happiness. Two years ago I thought it was impossible to achieve straight A’s or pass every assignment. Today, however, my GPA is above a 4.0. The feeling of success after studying for a test and making an A is such a powerful feeling that I wish I had encountered throughout every year. Ninth grade me wouldn’t believe the accomplishments I have made today. 
The importance of grades has been drilled into my head since I started school. If I make a bad grade on an assignment, I immediately assume my life is over because a college is going to see that, and I won’t be accepted. However, that is not the case. This change has just been brought into my perspective in the last few months. Grades do not define how smart someone is. Someone could fail an assignment, and it might be because he/she was having a bad day. Life gets in the way, and it can be hard to concentrate on a test when something bad is going on in one’s personal life. Grades are very important, but stressing to a breaking point is completely unnecessary. The realization that it is okay to not always be perfect has made a great impact on how I perceive education.
Another part of me that has changed are my friends. This is the change that almost every student is faced with. In three years, I have gained and lost so many friends I can barely remember who they are. This used to be important to me. In my head, having a popular friend group was the key to success in high school. My junior year has given me the knowledge that people really do not matter. My close friends are amazing but being friends with everyone is not going to score me a diploma. In high school, making and keeping friends is so difficult. Everyone is figuring themselves out and going down different roads.
With the start of high school, I wanted to do things again. I wanted to fix things, and I wanted a second chance for mistakes. This wish no longer weighs on my shoulders. As I have matured, I have realized that things happen and sometimes nothing can stop them or prevent them. Making mistakes will never stop. Traveling back in time to change something will never happen. There is a reason as to why that mistake was made. Realizing that everything happens for a reason has been a key factor in shaping how well I deal with hardships. In the long run, many things I have struggled to deal with do not matter at all.
High school has taught me to smile during whatever stressful situation I find myself in. It has taught me to share what I am feeling. I have learned that it is okay to think about today and not about how I will get through college. Finally, I have learned that things don’t always go my way. I don’t always get the grade I was hoping for, and I don’t always get to do what I want to do. This, however, is just a part of life. A little bump in the road does not predict the outcome of one’s life.