The infamous grade point average, or GPA, is one of the most important things in your educational experience. It can determine which college you go to, which professional school you enroll in, or even which high school you attend. However, oftentimes, I have noticed that, despite it being important to many ambitions and aspirations, it is not everything at all times, especially when it comes to intelligence. It should not be used to define us as people as it has been used.

For one, GPA is not always a hallmark of intelligence. Now, this may be very cliché to say. However, it is true. I have friends with middling GPA who oftentimes demonstrate their intelligence in other ways. They can speak their way through myriad situations and discuss difficult topics with the slightest of ease. GPA seems to be indicative of obedience and effort at times. Not that those are not important, but GPA isn't indicative of intelligence.

Second, GPA does not tell the whole story as is. GPA does not tell those observing about a person's struggles. Their conflicts. Their situations. Those extenuating circumstances that can make it far more difficult. Sure, there are people who genuinely score low on an IQ test and do not perform well in school. Many times, however, people have awful circumstances, and that can cause performances to suffer.

Third, intelligence takes many forms. Again, cliché as I could be. Platitudes are boring, but important. People can be "street smart," knowing their ways with people and the world around them. There are people who have a way with words that they can craft impeccable stories and poetry. Some people can comprehend the intricacies and nuances of mathematics or biology, while falling short in other regards. Overall, GPA again does NOT indicate intelligence.

Now, GPA is important in school. I'm not saying to slack off. But there is many a school, many an organization, many an individual, who will determine that a person merits nothing more than ridicule. That is false. People demonstrate their intelligence in their unique ways, and we should avoid judgment on the topic based on just that.