College, Students, and the Pressure of Perfectionism
All students can agree on one thing: getting a bad grade is the absolute worst feeling in the world. After studying so hard for so long and attending all the classes you’re required to go to, seeing that C or below can make you feel like the biggest failure in the world. The pressure to maintain a good GPA only heightens in these moments because these scores play a part in your final grade. And when a grade sinks your class grade, that sinks your GPA, and leaves you feeling like all your hopes and dreams are crushed. Grad school? Please. A bad grade can feel like it’ll ruin your entire life and like a complete idiot that shouldn’t be in college in the first place.
A GPA Lower Than 4.0 Does Not Define Your Intelligence
Nor does one bad grade define your abilities. I think these are hard facts for students to accept. We get warped into thinking and dealing with matters like a perfectionist. Our professors speak to us like every ounce of information we learn is vital to our career, our schedules revolve around school, and our perspective of the real world becomes very tunneled. We often forget that bad grades and missed assignments are not the most important things in life. We value these things with other important matters in life when we should not. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do well so that we can walk away with a diploma and hopefully get a job.
Getting One Bad Grade Does Not Mean We’re Stupid
As students, we forget to remind ourselves of this. Being behind our peers in a class does not mean that you’re any less intelligent, and it does not mean that they are any more capable than you are. I’ve found I frequently forget this in my Cohort class at school, mostly because we share our grades right as they come out because there are only 35 of us as opposed to 50-200. I’m not shy to admit that I’ve been that person that has received one of the lowest grades in my class, and I’m not going to pretend that hearing everyone else’s successes didn’t make me feel like a moron.
School Isn’t The Best Fit For Everyone
Everyone isn’t a good test taker. One subject that is easy for one student may be like rocket science to another. Even the most successful people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were high school or college dropouts because they had so much trouble with school. Even Albert Einstein failed his first exam attempt for entry into Federal Polytechnic School.
These people, having been incredibly successful, are prime examples of students that hit rough spots in their academic studies and overcame them. Despite the hurdles they faced, they are proof that intelligence and ability are not defined solely by grades and GPA. It’s the work ethic that is viable. It’s the effort that is of true value.
All We Can Do As Students Is Our Best
All we can do is go to class, pay attention as intently as possible, study as much as we possibly can without going insane, and tests as well as we’re able. Students have to remember that they aren’t perfect. Things are going to happen. LIFE is going to happen. College is definitely a tool in being successful and building a career, but it isn’t the sole thing that shapes our lives into what it’s going to be, nor is it going to destroy us if we get a couple bad grades here and there.