Yes, you read the title right. I actually made the decision to not graduate with honors. And I'll tell you why.
Upon returning to college in 2003, it was my goal to get kick-ass grades and graduate with honors. It would be one more reason for everyone to know just how perfect I was. I can honestly say that back then, my main motive was what other people thought and not my own. Life happened and during my journey I got a divorce, got pregnant and got remarried. Not only did my priorities shift, but so did my outlook on life. I understood what self-love was and intended to follow its path. It was still importnat to me to get good grades, but knocking myself out to be the best in my class just wasn't important anymore.
In my second to last semester one of my classmates asked me, “Why aren't you at Honor Society meetings?” I told him I didn't want to be in the Honor Society, that I couldn't take on another responsibility. He replied, “Oh. I guess you just struck me as an over-acheiver.”
I have to admit I was completely flattered. It was like telling me I was fantastic! My old ghost appeared in my ear and whispered, “See? You're still ‘that girl'. What's one more responshibilty? How could you say no to belonging to the Honor Society?” So I went to a meeting.
I recognized other students there (because they all sat in the front rows of my classes with me) and they were all the other “smarty pants” people that I knew. They talked about all the events coming up and I was completely overwhelmed. I would have to have my son spend more time at his babysitters so I could go listen to speakers or help others present research. Ooooh, but for graduation you get to wear special gold tassels. Well, sign me up!!!
I went home and thought about it, and decided not to join. I knew how hard I had worked to get there. My family knew too. And that was all that mattered. My legacy and achievements will not care that the “with honors” is on my resume. And that's okay.
Photo courtesy of rachel_titiriga