The Importance of Grades to a High School Student
It’s the end of the semester, and all I can think about is what my final grades will be. Will it match my expectations? Will I be happy with my report card?
Throughout middle school, my main focus was on getting the best grades. All I wanted was to make sure I was getting straight As.
My family always encouraged my sisters and me to work hard in school and push ourselves to learn more. Like many Indian parents, my parents wanted my sisters and me to have the best future and emphasized high grades and GPA.
After I came to high school, I worried more about my grades, tests, and GPA. My parents were bright students who were hard-working and competitive when it came to school. I wanted to be just like them and make them proud. In the end, the goal was to get excellent scores, get into a top college, and get a good-paying job.
How Grades Affected Me
It wasn’t the actual grades that used to stress me out. It was the high expectations of myself and the fear of failing that made me so scared of getting a low grade.
For me, good grades meant the best college. The best college meant the best jobs and a set future. So grades became especially important to me in highschool.
To be quite frank, I have high expectations of myself and am usually disappointed with anything less than an A. I would bawl my eyes out when I got a B. If I ever got anything less than a B, I would cry so hard that I would start to feel light-headed.
I also don’t have the best study habits. I would procrastinate and cram a long study session at 4 am. I would lose lots of sleep and stress about tests, projects, and anything that made up my grade.
Especially now, during this harsh time, online school is even harder. I have many more distractions around me and there can be issues with the internet that would affect me and my grades. Online school has made it much harder to make an A for me in classes where I usually don’t have any problems.
Struggling to achieve my goals and expectations, I feel myself becoming more stressed, unfocused, and disheartened.
It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination
I know a lot of my friends feel the same way. Many students, in general, are always stressing themselves out over what their grades are.
Placing such importance on grades has created this bad image of school for me and a lot of my peers.
They feel as though school is boring and there is no point in participating. Sometimes, I relate to these feelings and wish I didn’t have to go to school.
One thing my parents always told me is that they didn’t care for the results. All they cared about was the effort that I put in. Every time I would cry about my grades, my dad would tell me that as long as I worked my hardest, the end product doesn’t matter.
In other words, all that matters is that you tried your best. Many people will tell you this, but it’s true.
School should be all about learning new topics and exploring new possibilities. You shouldn’t limit your school experience to grades when there are so many other factors.
I know that right now, there isn’t much of a real school experience. With Google Meets and online school, you don’t get to see your friends or do all the fun things you would do if you were in school.
But, there are other things you can do instead of stressing over your grades.
Start or join a club or make an online study group. Look for new opportunities to explore things like internships, online competitions, or remote jobs.
Though I have been stressed with grades, having extra time has allowed me to start a club that teaches girls how to code, get a tutoring job, and try out for internships.
Maintaining good grades and GPA is important, but what matters is how much effort you are putting in to learn and understand new things.
It’s also important to enjoy school and have fun. My parents are always telling me that I will reject saying I don’t like school. They tell me they miss school and wish they could go back.
When I was in school, I always wished I could stay at home. Now that there is online school, I wish I could go back to school just once.
I don’t want to look back at my high school career and see that all I did was sob over grades. So work hard, and play hard.
The goal of school should be to absorb new information, make new relationships, and try new things. Grades and scores should just be results of your hardwork.
One last thing I want to add is what my dad always tells me that makes me understand the true significance of grades.
“As long as you keep pushing yourself to learn and grow, grades will automatically come. You should learn to learn, not learn to get good grades. All your hard work should be for yourself and not the letters on your report card.”