The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Subject to Change: Finding beauty in imperfection

Coming to terms with imperfection takes time.
Coming to terms with imperfection takes time.

Dear reader, 

Impractical, improbable, impossible — these are all words that I correlate perfection to. At one time or another, all of us have chased perfection, or at least, the idea of perfection. The quest for perfection is a mirage that dances just out of reach, shimmering in the distance like a desert oasis. We strive for it in our careers, relationships and even within our reflections in the mirror. 

Yes, perfection gives us something to hold on to in trying times.

It can be a constant for many, but it’s unrealistic to set our goals around this facade.

Perfection, if it were possible, would be a life without the surprises, depth and contrast. It would be a canvas without the vivid strokes of color that make it come alive. After all, what is the beauty of a manicured garden without the wildflowers defiantly growing amidst?

When I was younger, I was captivated by the pursuit of perfection. Each aspect of my life was a harmonious dance of precision and order. The nail polish bottles I cherished as an eight-year-old had their own perfect little spot on my closet counter. Even my meals demanded careful organization on my plate; any deviation from perfect alignment rendered them unappetizing to me. 

My commitment to perfection even translated into my approach to academics. The pursuit of perfection extended beyond a desire for flawless grades; it encapsulated my aspiration to embody the archetype of the perfect student. For me, achieving a perfect grade was not merely a goal but a non-negotiable standard. 

The idea of being a perfect student, while inherently unattainable, fueled my determination to approach each academic endeavor with unparalleled dedication. It wasn’t just about excelling in coursework but about crafting an identity as someone who embodied the epitome of scholarly achievement. In the beginning, I would devote endless hours to every assignment, even for the smallest additions to my grade.

I distinctly recall a turning point in 7th grade when faced with my first B on an Algebra test, I found myself in tears. Back then, any deviation from an impeccable grade felt like a personal failure. More than disappointing others with my “poor” grades, I was deeply troubled by the fact that I wasn’t or more importantly, couldn’t, always get perfect grades. The tears shed over a single B in 7th grade became symbolic of a shift in mindset – a maturation that allowed me to acknowledge the inevitability of setbacks and view them as stepping stones toward personal and academic growth. The acceptance of imperfection became a liberating force, ushering in a more balanced and realistic approach to life’s challenges.

More than containing the concept of perfection to only objects, aspiring to square humans away in a category or a standard of “perfection” is not only improbable but dangerous. In a lot of ways, my story of overcoming the idea of being the perfect student can translate into an issue that society faces today — body and beauty standards. The parallels lie in the relentless pursuit of flawlessness, a pursuit that often results in immense pressure, unrealistic comparisons, and, at times, feelings of inadequacy. When we set aside the relentless drive for unblemished excellence, we can embrace the unique character that makes us who we are.

I’ve come to appreciate the crooked smile that adds character to a face, the weathered hands that tell stories of hard-earned wisdom, and the unpredictable twists and turns that life presents. When we relinquish the quest for an unattainable ideal and let go of the idea that we must be perfect in every way, we free ourselves to live a life that is uniquely our own and nobody else’s to control. Reflecting on my journey from tears over a first B, I’ve come to understand that true fulfillment lies in authenticity and effort rather than perfection. I try, I fail, I learn and I do it all over again until I find success. 

In this perspective, I find a sense of liberation and contentment. I no longer strive for perfection, for I’ve discovered that it’s the imperfections that give life its richness and meaning. I am imperfect. I have imperfections, as does everyone. In embracing imperfections, I find beauty, and in letting go of the unattainable, I find freedom.



Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Srishreya (Shreya) Arunsaravanakumar
Shreya joined the Tribune in hopes of improving her writing abilities and stayed for the company. This is her third year in the Tribune, and she spent the first two years as a staff writer. In her free time, Shreya enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, and listening to Drake and Taylor Swift. Her goal for this year is to increase the number of columns in the paper and to write an op-ed that stirs drama within the DV community. If Shreya could be any other person on the Tribune, she would be Ekroop for her down-to-earth personality, ever-present smile, and her copy-editing skills or Neetra for her art skills and her ability to write a bomb article in every section.

Comments (0)

All The Wildcat Tribune Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest