Grades aren't as important as work ethic
W e have come to a point in our education system where a number on a transcript is supposed to define who we are.
I graduated high school with a 3.8 (thanks, math), a 30 on my ACT and zero work ethic. Did it get me where I wanted to go? Absolutely. Was I prepared when I got there? Nope.
I used to be one of those students who could sleep through classes and somehow, magically, I would intuitively understand every subject without much effort.
As a result, I never studied for my finals, and although finals do carry a lot of weight for many college classes, they don’t necessarily determine your success overall.
Yes, there is usually a difference between a 4.0 student and a 2.0 student, but those numbers don’t clearly enumerate who a person is, what their values are or what they have to offer to the community.
There seem to be two types of students. There’s ones like me, who save assignments and studying to the last minute, and then there are the students who make it a habit to plan ahead and give themselves extra time to perfect their work.
In high school, I didn’t read half of the course material, I goofed off in class and once, I even convinced my teacher to let me skip an essay because he knew I was going to do well on it anyway.
These habits made me a terrible student in high school, and because I never needed to work hard, I never bothered to.
Coming to college and experiencing classes that are actually engaging and challenging forced me to study, which was exactly what I needed to do in order to be a better student.
Looking back now, if I put in half the effort I’m putting into my college courses and job into my high school classes, I might have been in the running for valedictorian.
Well, that might be a bit of a stretch. But case in point, I wish I had been one of the students who challenged myself.
The students who force themselves to work hard to get ahead are the ones who are truly getting all they can out of their education, regardless of their grades, because life isn’t all about academic merit. Having a 4.0 is great and shows that you did well in your classes, but as they say, “C’s get degrees.” Colleges look mostly at grades for admissions, but that isn’t the case for most other situations.
That doesn’t mean slack off and let a class you could have four-pointed slip to a 2.0. If that happens, sure, it sucks. But don’t let it freak you out. Nobody’s perfect in every academic subject, so even if you don’t do so well on a math exam, it’s not going to define your future.
There will be other classes to make up for it. Employers don’t look for good grades — they look for hard workers.
Having a degree is just the beginning when being considered for a job. There’s going to be a bunch of other graduates with the same degree clambering to get the same position you are. What puts you above the rest isn’t if you got a 4.0 and they got a 3.0 — it’s going to be your experience and work ethic.
The way I see it, grades are a means to an end. Good grades are great, and might help you get into graduate school and they look good on a résumé. But if you show up to a job interview and all you can say is that you four-pointed your classes, there’s a chance you will be overlooked because other applicants have more life experience.
I doubt my grades were the first thing my employer considered when hiring me. He probably was more preoccupied with making sure I had the talent and the capability to work hard.
As final exams loom on the semester’s horizon, everyone seems to be getting to that frenzied stage of “oh sh*!, finals are here and I haven’t studied yet.”
Take a deep breath, frazzled Spartans. Finals suck, but they aren’t the be-all, end-all. I know a lot of classes emphasize on test scores, and if you’re good at taking exams like I am, good for you. But real-world situations will ask you to think critically and do your best, not bubble in the correct answer.
Work hard, and Sparty on.
Emily Jenks is a State News reporter. Reach her at .