Being Average in a World that Expects You to be Extraordinary


Being average is okay. It almost seems like we need to apologize these days for being average. If you look at a bell curve guess what? Most of us ARE average. Despite what we tell ourselves, our children, and their teachers, most children are average.

As my daughter is starting to look at applying to colleges the schools she plans on applying to no longer look at essays, body of work portfolios (except in fine arts capacities), volunteer positions or even interview students. They are telling students here is the grade point average usually 3.3 to 3.5 minimum out of 4.0 and a minimum SAT or ACT score and that is all. My daughter doesn’t make these cuts.

She is one of the hardest working students I know. She is kind, compassionate and ethical. She tries to do her best and present herself well when working on a project. But, these are skills that can not be graded and quantified by the schools. Her brother is gifted. He is in 8th grade and just scored a 700 on the English portion of the SATs and a 590 in math. He doesn’t have to try too hard in school but still gets mostly 100s. But, he doesn’t have the same skill set as his sister. He has to be watched and carefully guided when working. He is argumentative when others don’t agree with him and not intrinsically motivated to try harder. If I were a school or employer I would want my daughter over my son but if you put them both up blind with test scores only, you would want  my son.

Not every child is an A student nor should they be. If every student is on honor roll or high honor roll start looking at your school curriculum. There is something wrong. Every student should be able to succeed but there should be far more B, C, and D students than there are. When I saw that over 50% of a class was on honor roll or high honor roll I began to question things. Think about average – in the middle. So more than 50% of the students are A/B+ students? No. Your scoring is too easy or your curriculum is too easy. Not everyone gets the trophy, medal or award.

My daughter will never be a world-class Irish dancer but, she loves to dance. Everyone asks if she is going to be a dance teacher or something. No, she does it because she loves it. She is a good dancer, again average, but has been stuck in one dance at a certain level for five years now. Most dancers would have given up competing by now and let it go but not her. She is determined to go as far as she can. She amazes me each time she picks herself up after another disappointing day of competing and goes right back into it again the next day. Often she doesn’t get a medal or a trophy and that’s okay. She is learning to keep trying and be resilient despite set backs. That is more than she ever would have learned had she succeeded at everything. She knows it is not the medal, trophy, or award that mean something to her but the sense of accomplishment she feels when she meets her goal.

There will be no awards for her at graduation for highest GPA or award-winning essays. But, she has skills that will take her far. I think she will be just fine.

 

41 Comments Add yours

  1. Many H/S students start at the Community College Level and excel after 2 years to finish elsewhere Marci!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David says:

    I have suspected that there is something not quite right about colleges. Skyrocketing tuition is but a symptom. I’m afraid that the brightest and best, the singularly talented will reject college and its high cost with dubious rewards. Take heart. Tell your daughter to cast her net as widely as possible. After all, it’s not like she needs a draft deferment to avoid service in Vietnam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I agree. I am steering her on another path but it is hard when she sees all her peers heading off to college.

      Like

      1. David says:

        I know how that goes. My elder son was not ready for college at 18. He enlisted in the Marine Corps, acquiring a little more maturity in addition to tuition. He got his degree and turned out OK.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m sure your daughter will be just fine!! Good luck to her!!

    I embrace my averageness and am happy with the way I live! Lol

    Have a great weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your daughter is so special and will do well at whatever she wants to do. You are a wonderful supportive parent!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If I were in the position, I would hire a hard-working girl like your daughter in a heart-beat, especially someone with the tenacity that she has. She will go far in life because of that. You are doing a fine job of raising both your children!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you for your kind, kind words. It is hard when people only look at one, slim piece of their lives and judge them based on one section.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. susieshy45 says:

    I agree that people only look at grades and not the actual person. If I was an employer, I would try both the average student and the excellent student at work for about 3 months and watch what their social skills, communication, ethics, management skills, resilience and other things were and then appoint them after that period.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you. I would do the same thing. Hard to know what someone can do or will be like from a number. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. susieshy45 says:

        I wanted to specially commend you on being supportive of your daughter and all her skills and ambitions. You are a great mother.
        Many parents, moms and dads both, seem to favor their sons and their achievements.
        God bless !
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          Thank you. She is a great person who is average just like the rest of us!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. A wonderful post. You are so right that all kids can’t be A achievers. Being a well rounded and balanced person is really very important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  8. kelleysdiy says:

    My son was a straight A student, in Ca. I sent him to a private school in Texas, his grades went to B’s. I was told that was because Ca grading system is off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It’s tough. Common Core doesn’t seem to be the answer but there has to be a bigger picture way to look at students not just a little slice.

      Like

  9. fivecats says:

    There is nothing wrong with going to a community college and finishing at a university. Willing to work hard and being a team player means much more in the long run. Good luck to your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was this type of student. It just takes one person to see her potential (besides family:). She will do great things I’m sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Eric says:

    Unfortuately the system is rigged. “They” care only about their own measurements and criteria. Values like compassion and teamwork do not get on that list. It’s the average person that pushes the train forward but the enigneers get all the credit. Thankfully you daugther already has the most important skill set: humanity, caring, determination, resolve. I hope she dreams big because whatever she sets her mind to she will attain. Way to go mom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Walking with you child through everything — the good, the bad, and the average — is the hardest part, I think….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I think your right. No matter what there is,a lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! For the child — and for us!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. trkingmomoe says:

    Community college would be a good choice for her with an AA in liberal arts. She would still have that wonderful college social life . It would also introduce her to other careers that she may not of thought of. It will give her a chance to find out what she is really suited for. Another choice would be a State College that has an open admission policy. She would be able to go with a C average from high school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thanks. She is looking into a bunch of different things right now. A few community colleges and other options.

      Like

  14. Tikeetha T says:

    I was average too. Nothing wrong with it. She’ll be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Tareau Barron says:

    It’s sad that you are going through this. Have you ever seen this movie called “Admission” by Tina Fey? It talks specifically about the admissions and selections process that these universities follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I will need to look that up! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lacey says:

    AMEN TO THIS MAMA! Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Your daughter has the quality that will take her much farther than the kids who get easy A’s. She’s determined. As an old lady I can tell you that her kind of stick-to-it attitude is far more precious than the ability to ace tests. She’s going to be one to watch as she succeeds as other “college material” kids fall behind in life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! I know she is going to be fine but watching her struggle to understand others going away to college when she is staying close to home is tough to watch as a mom.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elizabeth says:

        That would break any mom’s heart. It’s impossible to see what a long life she has ahead and how her talents will bloom when her friends seem to be moving on.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. zaylasblog says:

    average is a well balanced standard. Because I’m my book one who is extraordinary at one thing might be Average some place else. Don’t set yourself as average when everyone is amazing, beautiful and extraordinary in their own way.

    Like

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Perfectly lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. As a completely average student myself, I completely agree with this post! Thank you for for phrasing this so well – best of luck to you and your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much!

      Like

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