I stare at the tiny black letters. My heart drops. Nothing unsightly, but nothing worth posting on the internet. Don't get me wrong, they're better than when I was sick, but still not what I had hoped, planned, and worked for. Having depression played a massive role in the destruction of my already mediocre GPA some three years ago, but I dealt with that disaster and dragged it up nearly an entire grade point in a year and a half. It sure as hell felt like a miracle. I take my medication everyday, I attend every class, I turn in all of my assignments, but I still just find myself achieving B's and C's with a few A's. The necessary GPA to graduate from college requires a 2.0 minimum, and yet to be involved in different clubs, organizations, and leadership on campus the average GPA is about a 3.0.
Perhaps it isn't universal. Perhaps other campuses consider a GPA at about 2.5 as a quality one, but that isn't my campus. When I chose to attend a highly competitive university with other students who came from the top end of their high school classes I knew I was in for a wake up call, I just never expected the level of it. In high school, I took the AP classes, was involved in everything on and off campus, and never once heard the word "no". This past fall I matriculated in as a transfer student and my first semester was... mediocre. I figured it was okay. I was new to the campus. I needed room for growth.
Well, Spring 2017 rolled around and I felt as though I had hit my groove. Perhaps this campus was the right place for me, or maybe I had been dealing with more than I anticipated in the fall. I made excuses for myself last semester. Was it depression? Probably not. Not a year earlier my dad passes away suddenly and I still managed a 3.1 gpa while working two jobs. Maybe I wasn't applying myself enough in the previous semester. So here was my turn to let my light shine. I enrolled in 15 units, and felt like I was breezing through. Things were going great. By the time midterms occurred, all of my grades on Blackboard showed A's and B's.
I was so excited.
Until I saw my final grades this week.
Again with the B's and C's that I probably would never show anyone. Not something to be ashamed of, but nothing to be sharing on Facebook. To say that I'm upset with myself would be an understatement. Am I just not in the right place? Is there something I should have done differently? I didn't party this semester, I still take my medication, and of course go to therapy each week. Sometimes I just wish that the amount of work I put in for my mediocre report cards got acknowledged. It's hard to feel good about C+'s when my peers are upset about A-'s. I think perhaps the biggest lie anyone told me before college was that intro classes would be easy.
So here's to the students getting mediocre grades, all the college students who are working their hardest and are still struggling to maintain the 2.5 average at difficult universities. We all will graduate, we all will be ready for the real world, and most of all we still matter. These tiny little letters on the computer screen will not define who we are as human beings, even if the university wants to strap a red A to our chests proceeded by a G and P. Your 2.4 is worth as much as your peers 3.2, at the end of the day your diploma will not have those numbers printed on it.