There's Something About Those Pesky Grades Running Our Lives

There's Something About Those Pesky Grades Running Our Lives

Describing all the ways grades affect our lives and ways to counter it.

Each week, the writers for Odysessy receive an email newsletter from our Editor-in-Chief. Since its finals week at Cleveland State, and a lot of my fellow writers are really feeling stressed out, we received this bit of wisdom in our inboxes:

"Friendly reminder: Your final grades do not define who you are or your self-worth. You are important, you are loved, and you are enough." -Kelly Prososki, Editor-in-Chief for Cleveland State University Community.

Even though I'm not a student this semester, I remembered just how much I bought into one's grades determining their worth. I think because of the very nature of grades. It's not like if you get awful grades you'll still succeed. Unfortunately, grades do determine whether we can be accepted into something better.

Grades have always meant A LOT to me because I was always told either directly or indirectly that I wasn't smart, to begin with. At home, whatever I felt, though, said or did was stupid. My classmates called me stupid (among other names) because I was introverted (because unfortunately introversion is often equated with someone having no intelligence).

I would wear myself out trying to get decent grades, to prove to everyone in my life that I could. Grades is one of the major reasons I'm still trying to pursue a bachelors degree at 37 years old. Good grades will earn me the bachelors everyone is determined I'm too dumb to get. Good grades will get me in the door to get a masters degree that everyone laughs and turns their noses up at me when I tell them that's what I want.

I'm not the only person in my circle that's been affected by the finality of grades. My best friend has placed in LD (Learning Disabilities) classes for her whole school experience. She frequently spoke of how teachers and our other peers disregarded her because of her grades.

She couldn't keep good grades at a trade school after she finally graduated high school, and because of her grades, she hasn't been able to go back to college since. Good grades make it so you can move on and try to learn things more complex.

It's difficult to keep in mind that grades don't define you because in many ways, grades do define you. Grades determine how intelligent you are and if you're worthy to move on. Grades reveal how much effort you put into an endeavor. Grades show people what you're capable of. Grades tell you your interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

However, the last parts of Kelly's advice are important to keep in mind as well. When grades are bearing down on your ability to function and move forward in society, you can always remember the big three's.

You are loved by your friends, family, and significant other(s). You are important to those whose lives you touch with your presence, your words, and your attention. Finally, you ARE enough - even if your grades say your not.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

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Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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