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Degrading Grades: Here’s Why You Should Save Your Tears

Grades — why do they matter so much? Maybe the short answer is that they don’t. Ever since I was little, I used grades to determine my self-worth. I felt that A’s made me a good person, and I thought that a teacher’s praise was the ultimate success. Although, this was never the case. 

First of all, grades are all subjective: one person's opinion does not determine the value of the fruits of your labour, let alone your self-worth. Deviance from the norm does not — despite what the system makes you believe — make you any less intelligent than anyone else. Intelligence is so much more than the ability to write an A+ paper. There are very intelligent people who perform poorly in school: just ask Albert Einstein. ​

I used to sacrifice my sanity and physical well-being just for an A grade. I would not eat outside of coffee, Redbull and/or caffeine pills. I would barely sleep. I would put absurd amounts of hours into stressing about school work, even before starting the assignments. Was it worth it? Probably not. Yet I let grades be my source of happiness: an A+ was the ultimate high in my life.  
I’ve since come to the conclusion that this approach is not sustainable. School does not define your worth. You will get a degree as long as you show up, do the work and study. You don’t have to work yourself into the ground to get a degree. It really is not worth it. These younger years are supposed to be the best of your life, so why waste them getting grey hair? ​
Learning becomes much more enjoyable when you don’t look at it as a win/lose situation. Life is too short to see grades as anything more than one person’s opinion. You are enough. Your soul is not influenced by your GPA. Your person is completely separate from the marks you receive. Knowledge is supposed to be power, not torture. ​
We all get bad grades. So what? On your deathbed, are you really going to say: “Damn, if only I had received an A on that Business exam”? No! Stop stressing so much — you only get one life. ​

Simmone Huras

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Simmone Huras is a 3rd year Political Science Major at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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