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For as long as I can remember, my classmates have been calling me an overachiever. Throughout high school, I learned to despise this word with every ounce of my being. No matter what I did (or didn't do), in the end somebody would end up saying that I tried too hard and "overachieved". It shouldn't have mattered to me, because it most certainly doesn't now.

Overachieving academically was never purposeful. I didn't go into my work and have the goal to go above and beyond what I needed to do. Sometimes I'd do the bare minimum, if that's what I truly thought I needed to do. Sometimes I'd put that little extra effort into assignments because I wanted to. It all depended on how thorough I had to be or how thorough I wanted to be. If it was an assignment for a class I enjoyed, like English, then I would put that little extra effort into it because I wanted to, not because I thought the teacher would think highly of me. I didn't do it to make other students look bad or to make myself look better. I always did work that I was proud of.

In my experience, the people who claimed I over-achieved did below the minimum while I did a little bit above. So, yes, compared to their subpar work, it did seem like I was overachieving. That is why I never let it bother me so much. Claiming I was an overachiever never annoyed me as much after I realized that their version of going above and beyond was correctly and sufficiently completing an assignment. I didn't like to cut corners or just scrape by. If I was going to do schoolwork, I was going to do it until it was complete and accurate.

This doesn't mean I didn't slack off a bit. When it came to math and science, I never really excelled, and because of that I let myself get away with some laziness in those subjects. In reality, I should have been putting the most amount of effort into them to improve my grades, but spending my time on English assignments seemed like a better use of my time, thus leading to me being an "English overachiever".

People will say what they will about you, whether it be your appearance or work ethic. The key is to just not care about what they think. It's not their lives and eventually they will learn that your habits should not concern them.


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