Conflicted about doing well in school (nonsensical guilt strikes again)

This post is brought to you by academic guilt. Please indulge my rumination for a moment.

For as much as not having to study very hard may be attractive, flying by the seat of my pants brings a sense of guilt into my life like none other. I have always hated those people who don’t have to try very hard, and as I get closer to graduation without giving up the pace of my learning, I find that I can deduce a lot of my teachers’ expectations and goals without putting much effort in. Part of that is busting my butt learning a while ago, and part of it is that as a whole, reading people is not hard for me.

It’s so disturbing, because it’s not like I’m just laying around and waiting for good things to come to me. I have very working class values, which is why the idea of just skating by really annoys me. I work two part time jobs currently, and it’s not like my quantity of work is any less (it’s probably more than a lot of my peers), I just develop strategies. What bothers me most is that it is false advertising to assume that every person has the same amount of difficulty studying, or learning concepts. Yes, I have struggled with classes before, but not recently. What I’ve found in all this time is that it’s really not the subject matter that a person is learning, but whether the presentation of that subject matter (as in, the methods they have to use to learn it) suit their learning styles in the first place. The way we present certain subjects generally attracts a specific kind of person, unless we use alternative methods to help others reach the same understanding.

I am really only in psychology and the humanities because analyzing people and having opinions costs me nothing. I would trade every opinion that I have as a lump sum to have a little more kindness, but it’s a work in progress. Seeing the structure in disciplines helps me design ways of relaying information, and I really don’t try very hard to learn what I need to learn. Still, I can’t shake the guilt that comes with the false assumption that pain has to be part of the learning process. I know it’s not true, but being a better strategist with time isn’t fair to people who will always have to keep trying.

At this point in college, it makes you wonder, though. Like, if people spent less time at bars, would they be able to do better over the things that they continue complaining about? Bad decisions make you blame others for your problems and ignore what you could be doing to solve them. If people actually wanted to learn, would it be so hard? Please, peers. Take your lives seriously and assuage my guilt.


Published by


I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s