Grades Don't Matter

After reading this headline you may be thinking to yourself, “Bull.” You’ve heard “grades don’t matter” a thousand times before. But just hear me out okay?

Let me rephrase: grades aren’t the ONLY things that matter. Obviously there are specific situations when you need a certain grade to stay in a course, or you’re applying for postgraduate schools that only accept marks above specific averages. In that case, yes I guess they do slightly matter. My point is that just because you got a shitty mark (or five shitty marks) does not mean your life is over.

University is built upon the idea that grades are the only thing that students should care about. Realistically, it is all we care about and all we think about. Everything about going to school revolves around the fact that the work you do will be handed in for grades. Honestly, I could go on for years about the frustration that is our education system but I want to focus on the fact that a grade doesn’t define who you are or what you’ll do in your future.

During exams, it’s easy to forget that your psych1000 class will probably have no effect on your life after the course is finished. It’s easy to forget that one bad mark on an exam, no matter how much it was worth, will ultimately have no impact on your life. Actually, you’ll probably end up laughing about it later.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a successful person who told me about all the high 90s they got in university. In fact, there are many successful people who had to fail in one area to find out where they truly excel. Once university is over and you’ve left this part of your life behind, what will matter most is the skills you’ve developed and the connections you’ve made.

Sure, some employers require specific GPAs for internships and co-ops. But there are so many other organizations that couldn’t care less about the grades you had. They want to know if you’re easy to get along with, hard-working, organized and passionate about what you want to do.

Although a big part of university is gaining skills to put towards a career in the future, that’s not all it’s about. University is a time where you learn about who you are, meet new people, have new experiences, and create memories and friendships that will last your whole life. It’s a time to open your mind to new ideas and actually learn something. This is the stuff that matters. Being happy, being healthy, and knowing that you’re an intelligent and strong person no matter what a scantron says.

I’ve seen some of the smartest people I know in tears when studying for an exam, all because they don’t think they’ll do well. We can all relate to feeling hopeless, over-worked and ridiculously stressed about a grade, especially during exams. I, myself, have gone through times when I was so down on myself that I forgot who I really was all due to the stress of school.

Sometimes the stress of everyone talking about grades and your parents constantly asking how you’re doing can make you forget these things. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mess of it all, but this exam season, remember these things and take care of yourself. Be there for others and remind them that together you will get through it. Take the time to relax and de-stress. Most importantly repeat to yourself as many times as you need to believe it: Grades do not define me.

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