Does Hard Work Really Pay Off?


We’re going to keep it short today, because I’m a little pissed off about how this semester is going and if I rant too long, I’m not going to get anything done tonight.

So this morning, I got a test back and received a grade that was SIGNIFICANTLY lower than what I’m used to. What was it? Well, let’s say it was above average, but still below my average.

People told me that was still good because I was above average and I had nothing to complain about. Before I dive into the question of the day (reflected in the title), let me just start with this: why should you be changing your standards to what the average is or what everyone else does? That goes for anything – not just school, sports, or grades. Your moral standards. Your happiness standards. Everything – there is no reason for you to try to justify yourself by comparing yourself to others. People who tell you otherwise may be either a) trying to pull you down or b) trying to comfort you. In my experience, as an honors student, I can tell you that people usually tell me so for reason A. For most people, though, (and this is something I learned in college when I made nice friends), the reason is B, which just makes you feel guiltier for refusing to listen to the people who care about you.

Or not. If you really cared, you would embody this term that we like to call “empathy.” This means understanding situations that are unlike yours with a certain level of compassion and non-superiority that others can easily sympathize with. Congratulations – that’s the bar that we like to set for ourselves when we make friends. But if you’re just trying to comfort someone because you’re nice, that’s not the same as empathy. However, that’s another topic for another.

To put it shortly, this has been a pretty crap week for me. I’m sorry I’ve been behind on a lot of my posts – keeping up with this blog has been a real challenge ever since the semester started, so please cut me some slack. Yesterday, I got turned down from an internship that I so desperately wanted and consisted of an application that I put over three weeks of work into. With the test grade I got back this morning, I’ve spent the entire day trying to figure out ways to bring my final grade up without causing severe damage to my GPA (yes, I am your type A hard-ass who likes to keep her grades in shape, thank you).

I’ve been freaking out. The knots in my back are forming again (whoo!), and even worse, I keep comparing myself to my classmates. The girls who sit next to me in this class all got high grades, but barely studied for the test. According to what people have taught me, this shouldn’t be happening, because “hard work pays off.”

To answer a lot of your questions, yes, that is why I work incredibly hard. But I work my ass off so much that I don’t even think I’m getting nearly the return I want. The opportunities I strive for are passed on to the kid next to me and the hours I spend studying for a subject end up going wasted. As hard-workers, don’t we deserve some type of reward? Shouldn’t we be getting at least one thing that’s perfect or that goes as planned in our lives? Because I feel like I’ve been trying a lot harder than my friends and colleagues to only get less opportunities to grow and advance the way I want to.

Then again, I’m here blogging. But I’m glad you all are here for me…sometimes, a little rant is good for the soul. Thank you for existing J

One thought on “Does Hard Work Really Pay Off?

  1. If hardwork lead to success, then the cycle of poverty could be broken, world peace could be achieved, and we could have found a cure for cancer. You will fail sometimes – fail being the normative for the opposite of your definition of success is – and that’s okay. Beating into ourselves that we didn’t work harder or attempting to work harder through the frustration won’t guarantee success. Work smarter, not harder. You are brilliant. Text me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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