One of my main takeaways from freshman year has been that college is not easy and it is nothing like high school. You can go through high school putting in minimal effort and ending with straight A's but college is nothing of the sort. Receiving straight A's is a lot rarer and a lot more effort has to be put into studying for this to occur.
Most students are constantly stressing about their grades. You take a test and then have to start preparing for the next. You submit a paper you've been working on for a week then have to start researching for the next paper due. Sometimes it feels like you'll never get a break.
It's important to have a concern for your GPA but it is not healthy to constantly stress over this number. Every person is different, some people just need a 3.0 to be content and others strive for a 3.8 or 3.9. Everyone has different goals but at the end of the day, is it really worth it to over-stress about every single assignment, to have a minimal social life, to basically live in the library, to get your 4.0?
Everyone is so focused on this number, I'm guilty of it myself. I stress over my GPA constantly, I get mad at myself for receiving a B, but then I realize how ridiculous that is. I'm learning a lot in college, I'm gaining experience, and I'm getting to know myself better. None of these things can be measured by that number on your transcript.
I came into college expecting my grades in college to be the same as my high school grades. I did very well my first semester, but the second semester, I'm expecting my GPA to drop and I've learned to accept this. The fact is, I took more challenging courses second semester. I can't expect the same outcome from taking different difficulty level classes.
I think it's great to set personal goals and to put a lot of effort into your grades but I don't think GPA is worth obsessing over. A 3.0 and a 4.0 GPA still receive the same diploma. If you have a high GPA, good for you. If you have a lower or average GPA, good for you. We're all college students doing our best and we are so much more than our grade point average.