If there’s one thing I’m proud of in this world, it’s my GPA. I’ve worked hard for it my entire college career. I used to pride myself on how virtually bulletproof it was. I’ll put emphasis on used to. That is until I was faced with the real possibility that my GPA was no longer bulletproof. It was time to accept that I’m a mere mortal. I had a minor breakdown, cried a little bit, and tried to deny the truth, but there was no denying that my perfect GPA I had worked so hard for was in distress, and I would have to kiss it goodbye. I was convinced I was a failure – my life was over.
Now I know you’re probably thinking, “poor little girl, and her GPA.” Okay, you’re not wrong to mock me, but I know you’ve been in the same position. Maybe it wasn’t a B you were trying to avoid, but we’ve all felt like our GPA defined us at one point or another. I’ll admit I have fallen guilty to that way of thinking. Let me be a voice of wisdom, you AREN’T your GPA.
With finals rapidly approaching, graduate school applications due, and impending graduation, we are all a little preoccupied with what our transcript will look like in six weeks.
Talk about pressure to perform. Professors, mentors, parents, and peers all expect nothing but top notch, 100%, the best. Who doesn’t want to be the best? But being “the best” isn’t necessarily having the highest GPA. I can tell you very few people are ever impressed by a 4.0, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had someone say “oh, so it’s not hard for you.” Wrong. College is hard. Whether you have a 4.0 or 1.9, college is no walk in the park. Between classes, meetings, picking a major, applications to graduate programs, clubs, Greek life, your social life, and actually getting enough sleep to be a functioning human, there’s hardly enough hours in the day to get everything done. So, take a breath. You’re only one person. You’re only human. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to get a B, or a C, (or even a D, gasp).
Can I let you in on a little secret? In 10 years, no one is going to care what three numbers separated by one decimal point you carried across the stage, and Summa Cum Laude will mean next to nothing. You know what will mean something? The memories you made with your sorority sisters. The first word people would use to describe you. How many times you called your mom and thanked her for everything she’s done. The one thing that will not change is how much love you showed to others.
Now, don’t get me wrong, grades are important. College is meant to catapult you into the career you want. That shouldn’t be taken lightly. But, in the same breath, let me also emphasize that one bad grade is not the end all be all of your college career. Should you focus, study, and try to do your best? Absolutely. However, you should never sacrifice your own physical, emotional, or mental health for a grade in a class. You should never fear failure, because it’s bound to happen. A wise person once said,“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Take the hard class. Study hard. Work for it. Join that club. Get the internship. Become a part of Greek life, or don’t. Never ever ever look back on your college years and think “man I wish I had gone to this or that, but I was too busy studying for a test/writing a paper/doing a project.” Know when to say yes, and when to say no. Learn which nights you can go without sleep because it’s worth it. Have a little fun. Work hard. Balance.
And don’t ever let 3 little numbers define you. You are more than your GPA.
Image Credits: Type A Films/Marc Platt Productions