Graduate reflects on the meaning of success after falling short of summa cum laude grade by .01

MANILA, Philippines – A graduate’s story of falling short of achieving summa cum laude by .01 point has captivated netizens online. Jennifer Marie Rodriguez's story reminded everyone of the importance of being grateful and appreciating success in whatever form it may take.

Jennifer Rodriguez reminds everyone to be proud of our achievements
Jennifer Rodriguez reminds everyone to be proud of our achievements. Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman, which is a big achievement. But she believes there's more to life than just awards.

On her graduation day, July 30, Jennifer got the second-highest honor for her great grades, with an average of 1.21. Even though she worked really hard, she admitted feeling a bit disappointed that she fell short of getting the top honor, which needed an average of 1.20.

On July 27, she bravely stated, "I felt really bad about myself because I thought my grades defined me," admitting that she is afraid that her family and others will be disappointed in her achievement as a magna cum laude.

“I'm scared to know that maybe people would feel and think the same way—that instead of being proud, they would rather become disappointed because a .01 difference could have made me included in the history of UP's Summa Cum Laude,” she explained.

Jennifer continued to share how she worked hard and overcame her struggles and doubts. Her family and friends helped her see the good things in life that we often miss. When she shared her feelings on social media, it was a turning point. "I felt better about not being the best and started appreciating what I have," she said.

This experience made Jennifer appreciate herself more, not just for her achievements. She reminded herself of the true purpose of earning the grade: to contribute to a society where children are safe and treated fairly.

Jennifer reminds us to see success and achievements beyond awards. She said, "So, I hope if you're still reading my monologue until right now, I hope you realize what truly matters to you the most and hold on to it. Finally, I hope you know that you are enough.”

Her journey inspires us to pursue our dreams and appreciate every victory, big or small.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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