Grades Aren't The Only Things That Matter

Grades matter, but they're not the only things that do.
by Nicole Chiang   |  Jun 29, 2016
Image: Clare Magno
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If you're one of those highly grade conscious people, the pressure you deal with is intense. You work hard for every single class, and there's simply no room for mediocrity in your academic life. Don't get this wrong, going for those straight As is in no way a bad thing. But in the midst of your pursuit, you just might forget some things along the way. For one: Grades aren't the only things that matter.

There is nothing worse than shedding sweat and tears for a paper and eventually getting it back with a grade lower than what you thought you expected. How unfair could the world get, right? That heartbreak will then lead you to repeatedly tweet, "My grades don't define me. My grades don't define me." There is truth to that, but what you should realize is that the only person who is defining you according to your grades is yourself. Grades can never be an accurate reflection of who you are, so don't allow it to be.

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We believe that grades are the measurement of our intellectual capabilities. To some degree, they serve the purpose of informing our teachers how well we really understood a particular lesson or concept. No matter how we twist or turn it around, we all know that grades are exactly that. They are a kind of measurement. We are being assessed. And we tend to fear not living up to the standard of what society dictates. Every time we are measured, there's always a possibility of not being good enough, of not being smart enough. The tension every single time the teacher distributes papers or quizzes is crazy. You should wonder, then, how much of your life hasthe thought of good grades taken over your life.

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As of now, you continuously strive for those straight As, but strive also for a balanced life. Academic-wise, there is no room for mediocrity, but what about your extra-curricular activities, your health and your social life? If your studies are what make you a student, all those other things are what make you human. Your life outside of books and papers are not something you should neglect. In the long run, no one will remember your grades. No one will remember that you got a C in your homework. Chances are, you won't even remember most of your grades 5 years after you graduate. What will remain with you are the values and skills you developed along the way.

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Join orgs. Be active. Eat lunch with your friends. Watch a movie with your family. Get some rest. All of these things matter. Your grades will always be important, but how will getting an excellent score matter in the long run when you are inconsiderate and insensitive towards other people? If the reason behind your grade consciousness is to get a good job in the future, sure, you’ll probably get accepted, but the things beyond your grades are what will determine whether you stay or not. Remember, your grades aren't the only things that matter. Nor are they the only things that make you who you are.

Your grades will always be important, but how will getting an excellent score matter in the long run when you are inconsiderate and insensitive towards other people?

You have to keep in mind, however, that this is not an excuse for you to slack off. Doing your best in your studies is still your responsibility. It’s just that your goal should be broader. Go for a more holistic approach in life. When you tell yourself that grades are not the only things that matter, continue it with the line: but it still does. This way, you remind yourself that there is so much more to life than just getting a good grade, but at the same time, it is not meant to become a reason for you to neglect your studies. Just do your best, and give yourself some credit. You still deserve to live a life beyond those grades you worked hard for. Grades matter, but they're not the only things that do.

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About the author
Nicole Chiang
Candymag.com Correspondent
A fan of music, theatre, movies, books and food, Nicole is an all-around over-achiever who won’t stop pushing for the best, and nothing but the best.
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