I wrote this essay to somewhat describe my experience as being a non-catholic in a catholic school. Please critique harshly! I would like this essay to really stand out when applying to colleges.
I Wasn't Made for the Grade
"How many of you were confirmed within your parish?" my theology teacher asked with confidence, assuming to see each one of her catholic school students raise their hands with certainty. I could feel my cheeks flushing, as I glanced around the room and saw each hand around me rise, until I was the only student left who hadn't given such a gesture confirming my faith. I sat in my seat, arms crossed, feeling unusually hot, as I was trying to avoid eye contact with my teacher. I wished so greatly to be spared from the embarrassment that was slowly creeping behind me, until I could feel it breathing down my neck. As I glanced up at my teacher, immediate eye contact was made and I could sense the chills running through my spine.
After our exchanging of glances, she exclaimed my name with a strong feeling of concern hidden within the syllables. "Were you confirmed within your parish?" she asked while shooting me with her stare, a new note of anger hidden within her voice. As soon as the words slipped through her mouth and out into the air, my ears caught the sound of all fifteen students turning to stare directly at me, desks creaking with the movement. "No, I was not", I exclaimed with a shaky and uncomfortable tone. Scoffing, my teacher again angrily replied "Do you even belong to a parish?". Once more feeling uncomfortable and ashamed, I responded with "No, I do not". Finally, after time had stretched and those past forty seconds had felt like an eternity, I was given one last glance and then the day had carried on.
I had made the choice myself to attend Catholic high school, and I can say with certainty I don't regret it. However, not being raised as a Roman Catholic brought me upon many uncomfortable situations. At times, I felt judged and belittled due to my choice on religious values. Choosing to not accommodate religion into my life is a choice both me and my parents had made, and was universally recognized in most parts of my life. Respecting and recognizing different beliefs is something I can pride myself on, but my values were often not reciprocated within my school environment. When given opinion-based assignments, I would generally do worse than my peers because I was speaking the truth of who I was and what I believed in. At the end of the day, I will always take the lower grade over lying and conforming my beliefs to those that I disagree with, because no amount of points is worth denying myself of who I truly am. If I wasn't made for the grade, then I wasn't made for the grade.