Below is a memory I have from my high school years. Many people look back very fondly on their high school years. I most certainly do not.
I was a typical high school student and achieved a 3.0 GPA in high school. Combined with my ACT score of a 29, I was accepted to all the colleges I applied to, including Big 10 schools. Throughout my academic life, my parents were never happy with my grades and felt I should do better and that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential, as they perceived it. Just another area where the constant message of “your a failure” was beat into my head. I’ve always known that I was a more non-traditional learner, and that an academic environment wasn’t well suited to me, but my parents never attempted to understand that about me. They just thought I was lazy.
The first semester of my Sophomore year of high school I really applied myself and came home with a bright shiny 3.65 GPA for the semester. I was quite pleased with my effort and my results. My parents said nothing about it. About three days later while on the way to an engagement with the entire family in the car, I asked my father if he had seen my report card. He said “Yes, but you can do better!” I had a 3.65 GPA and it wasn’t good enough for my family! After that I pretty much stopped putting in the extra effort I had been putting in because I learned that it didn’t matter if I received a 3.0 GPA or a 3.65 GPA, it wasn’t good enough either way, so why make the extra effort. It was a no win situation. Damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t, so why even try.