“Imagine how well she would do if she did not have a hearing loss.” This a phrase my mother commonly uses when discussing my grades, especially to my teachers. As an A-B student who is involved in Advanced Placement and honor courses, I personally feel that I do pretty well. But, when truly considering what she is saying, I can see what my mom means. I have a daily struggle of trying to get everything done and trying to understand what my teachers are teaching. It is very difficult to write notes, look at the board, look at the teacher pointing to the important parts, watch the interpreter, and understand all of the material we are supposed to be getting down. That is just one class. I have various classes throughout the day and, by the time the school day is finished, I am completely and totally wiped out. This is normal for me though. It is actually really hard for me to imagine a life without a hearing loss. I was born with a genetic condition called cleidocranial dysostosis, CCD for short. This means that I have various physical problems such as shoulders that are not connected to my collarbones, extra teeth, and a bilateral hearing loss. So, throughout my entire school career, I have had to adjust where other kids my age could slack off a little and still good grades. I had no so option of getting to take things at a slow and relaxing pace. I grew up struggling to find personal techniques that would help me catch everything I needed to learn. When I first got my hearing aids in seventh grade, that helped me out a little bit. I recently have also gotten an interpreter, which has made a world of a difference in my grades and my understanding of the class material. So, in retrospect of the phrase that my mom uses, I can understand where my mom was coming from. If I had the ability to hear as well as my peers, maybe I would be a total straight A student. Maybe I would be a 4.5 student instead of a 3.5 one. On the other hand however, maybe I would be a slacker and someone who did not live up to their full potential. Just because I have solid grades and a good standing now with my hearing loss does not mean that I would automatically be a genius and top-notch student without it. Being someone who has grown up with a hearing loss, I have learned to work for everything I have. My grades were not something that came easy to me. I had to fight through every class, study each note, and more. Having a hearing loss, I have learned to work hard and have learned how to accommodate for myself instead of having to depend on others to work around me completely. I am able to write without looking down, I speed-read, I have adjusted the way I previously did things to be faster and more effective. If I had the ability to slack off, maybe I would. Maybe I would push my homework off until the last second, sleep during class, or even skip classes when I did not feel like going. All in all, hearing loss may have actually improved how I work at school. I have put my all into everything I do in order to keep up, and in return, I have learned to work for everything I want. If I was hearing, I might have taken how easy getting the information from class was for granted. I have absolutely no regrets about the way I am. I feel that I am doing well in life, not just for someone with a hearing loss, but as a student in general. I am happy, I am successful, and I continue to climb to my fullest potential each and every day.

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