Image courtesy of Asusena Cisneros and Tia Lam

Every morning, I wake up to a timeless adage enshrined in the wall art above my roommate’s desk: “Dick is temporary, GPA is forever <3”. Go ahead, steal this gem for yourself. These poignant words capture an eternal truth: that all of life’s fleeting joys — sunrises, ripe avocados, silly string, hot chocolate — are mere trifles next to my GPA, the pinnacle of my existence that will undoubtedly be relevant in all areas of my life, forever and always.

As a student with a disability, I’ve been told countless times to never let it define me and focus instead on my strengths. I wholeheartedly agree. If I just refuse to acknowledge my limitations, they’ll disappear in no time. After all, everyone says that disability is just an attitude. Why lean into my uniqueness when I can instead blend into the crowd of GPA worshippers? By embracing the numerical splendor of my GPA, I can effortlessly eclipse the day-to-day challenges of my disability while displaying my academic prowess.

And let’s not forget the added benefits of flaunting a high GPA. As people’s eyes shift from my stylish wheelchair to the impressive digits on my transcript, they suddenly see me in a new light. While my GPA effortlessly camouflages my disability, it conveniently brings to the forefront my race, class, and a host of extraneous identity factors by association — this number says so much more about a person than you’d think. Nothing could be more meritocratic than this ultimate symbol of character and substance. After all, who needs genuine wit and wisdom when you can boast a perfect four-digit number on your transcript?

Looking towards the future, I’m filled with nothing but excitement for the infinite possibilities that await me, all thanks to my GPA. With my outstanding undergraduate record, I’m guaranteed success in every aspect of life. Jobs? Check. Relationships? Check. Social circles? Double check. My stellar GPA will truly be the shining beacon that guides me through life, providing me with all my worth and value as a human being — or, at least, that’s what I’m told.

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