That moment when Socrates who “only knew that he didn’t know anything” almost ruined my possibilities of graduating from UC Berkeley.

         A couple of semesters ago, I was sitting in a philosophy class during which every word that traveled from the professor’s mouth into my ears made no sense. I thought to myself what is going on here? Is there some type of philosophy dictionary or instruction book on how to read the ancient philosophers? Am I not good enough for Berkeley? On top of this the professor was not very approachable or receptive to questions during lecture. A couple of (gibberish) lectures into the semester I got my first philosophy paper back. My grade not only caused me to feel incompetent and embarrassed, but it also caused an intense feeling of desperation about my possibilities to even succeed at Berkeley. I considered dropping the class, but one I am not a quitter and two I needed the class for my then intended legal studies major. I thought that by attending lecture I would gain proficiency in the subject and write a better paper by the second time. Oh how mistaken I was, my grade for the second paper did not look any better than the first and the deadline for changing the grading scale from a grade to pass no pass had now expired. I was stuck in a horrendously complicated and tedious class that would certainly lead my gpa to an all time low. At this point I continued in the course and I continued to get punched in the face with every paper and assignment. By the time the final was in the horizon the papers had been graded and according to my calculations I would at least need an A (basically a miracle) to pass the course. While I saw many of my classmates completely give up during the course of the class I decided that I couldn’t let myself do that. Unlike Socrates, if there was one thing I knew, it was that I WOULD pass the class and that I would most certainly graduate from Berkeley. I began to study frantically and commit to memory anything and everything that could possibly come in the test. I studied for about a week straight. I took the final and naturally I was uneasy about the results, I mean I was always uneasy when it came to this class anyways. During winter break when I checked my grades online I realized that I did not barely pass the class but that I had really passed the class with a B! I was sooo happy to know that all the pain, countless hours of worry, and philosophy deciphering had finally shed fruits! If you take anything from my experience other than not to take an ancient philosophy class at Berkeley, I want you to take something even more important that I learned during this traumatizing experience. I learned that no grade in the world can classify me, this is not to say that it’s acceptable to get mediocre grades simply because its college. No, because like everything in life you must put work into it if you want to see results and if you actually try no matter how many times it ‘punches you in the face’ get back up, always. Learn form your mistakes, embrace your struggles, and develop better approaches, but most importantly, always remember that if it won’t matter ten years from now, let it go. My best wishes for favorable results in all of your college applications!

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