It's always terrifying; the end of the semester when we get an email from the school saying "Your final grades are now available for viewing", if we're being completely honest, I don't open this email until I'm alone a few hours later. These emails always cause unnecessary stress on me, and probably thousands of other college students.
These grades are your way out. Your grades show who you are. Your grades define you.
These are all things we hear, from family, friends, and peers. Well, they're WRONG.
My grades show how I do with memorizing information, and spitting it back out during the final exam. My grades show how I am an average student, but they don't show who I am outside of school.
GRADES DO NOT DEFINE ME.
I am SO SICK of hearing these three little letters, I am SO SICK of my future being defined in how I memorize information, I am SO SICK of people thinking I am not smart just because my GPA stays around a 3.0 instead of a 4.0.
To the people who have 4.0s and who will graduate with honors: this article is not meant to belittle your achievements, or to say that you're 'average', it's just to say the I am smart too.
I come from a family of hard workers, who have done just fine with average grades, who, in fact, have done BETTER than fine; they've excelled. If thousands, no-- millions of people have been able to survive with an average GPA, I know I can too.
The Glossary of Education Reform's definition of a GPA states the obvious (what it is, and how it is calculated), and they point out one more critical piece of information:
"A student’s GPA is often used to determine academic honors, such as honor roll,class rank, or Latin honors. GPAs have been one of several major factors used by colleges, postsecondary programs, and employers to assess a student’s overall academic record"
Yes, A GPA does help gather a basis of how a student is in classes-- But what it DOESN'T gather is: someone's ability to interact with people, it doesn't asses someones passion for something outside of an academic setting, it doesn't asses the way any situation is handled, or how someone handles a crisis situation.
My entire future should not be in the hands on a 1.0-4.0 scale. I shouldn't worry about what sort of job I'll get just based on how well I did in that physics class, or math WHEN IT'S NOT MY MAJOR (but that's another story for another day).
MY GPA DOES NOT REFLECT WHO I AM AS A PERSON.
I am a friend. A sorority sister. A daughter. A little sister. A big sister. A co-worker. A Writer. A Blogger.
None of the above things are defined as me having a Grade Point Average above 3.0.
The things above are defined by one being personable, by being accepting, by being helpful, and by being YOU.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR GPA.
When someone tries to belittle you, based on what grades you earn just remember that you are a PERSON, not a NUMBER.
Remember that you'll succeed no matter what you set your mind to, and don't worry about a stupid little number.