I'm not the type of person to constantly criticize myself or look down upon myself but I also realize the need to constantly grow and make myself better so that I don't go down the route of complacency that I do so often. It is hard to keep a balance between wanting to better myself and thinking that I'm just not good enough.
This week, SAT scores came out and I received a 1490. I am at the 98th SAT user percentile, which is very good. Only two percent did better than I did. According to my very, very basic and not very accurate calculations based upon the number of students who took SATs out of the 2015 and 2016 graduating classes, roughly 1,659,135 students will take the SAT out of the class of 2018 (my graduating class). Now, multiply that number by .02 and there are approximately 33,183 students who will perform or have performed better than I did on the SAT. Out of the original 1.6 million, this seems like a very small percent and maybe you would say that I should congratulate myself, but 33,183 is a still large number to me, and one that is not proportional to who I should be comparing myself to.
If I am accepted, I will likely attend the University of Texas at Austin. Data from students that applied to the school showed that at around an SAT score of 1490 or above, 3 students were still rejected and 2 were deferred. Out of those, only one had a GPA higher than mine.
My two choices are to either be complacent about my likelihood of attending UT, or to strive for more and think deeper.
I may be in the top 2% in the nation for my SAT, but out of students accepted into UCLA from my high school, nearly 50% have higher scores. Out of students accepted into NYU, the average SAT score is 1507. Students accepted into Rice need more than a 1550. Heck, someone who applied to UT Dallas with a higher GPA than I currently have was rejected! But what does this mean for my future?
I struggle between being confident in my own abilities and talents, being complacent, and being down on myself. I know I need to improve, but after taking AP Psychology I also know the importance of being confident in yourself on your performance. When being self confident, it's really hard to not be complacent with where you are. Yes, I am doing well, but not well enough. Should that mean I be harder on myself, yes. But where does the line end between trying to improve and over criticizing?
I think the best solution is to be like a cactus toward yourself. A little spiny on the outside to promote growth, but sweet on the inside to improve self confidence.