In college, a common phrase heard among students and between teachers is "C's get degrees." I get why this is such a common phrase; it can relieve some of the stress of trying to get outstanding grades. "Then why are you stressing so much over your grades, Katarina," you ask? Because this is NOT the case if you want to go to graduate school (like me).
I've even had a counselor -- yes, a counselor at my university -- with a Master's in psychology -- tell me that I should stop stressing over my grades. He knew I was a psychology major. He KNEW I wanted to go to graduate school for my PhD. Now, I don't know if he expected me to just settle for the world's worst grad school or what. But I expected him to know that grades DO matter when you're a psychology major aiming for graduate school.
There are a number of determining factors for whether or not you get accepted into a graduate program. There's the GRE (which is basically the SAT on steroids), extracurriculars, and of course -- grades/GPA.
As you can imagine, I am constantly worrying about my grades and making Dean's List. So far I've only missed Dean's List once, and I hope to keep it that way.
Based on the research I've done, you can get into a graduate program with an OK GRE score, because their second determining factor is your undergraduate GPA. As long as you have a good GPA, your GRE score won't matter too much. I haven't taken the GRE yet, so right now my grades are my saving grace. If I screw up the GRE the first time, I don't want to take it again -- especially because it costs over $200 to take.
I am not planning to get my Master's. Nope, not at all. I want to go straight into a PhD program. So my grades are extra important. If you go into a PhD program without a Master's, you basically get less priority than the students in the PhD program who went to get their Master's first. Not to mention, it is EXTREMELY difficult to get into a PhD program right from your Bachelor's.
So yes, my grades DO matter that much in the long run. They're quite literally going to determine my entire future. Yes, I can just settle for any ol' grad program, but the schools I'm looking into are top-tier graduate schools. So stop telling me my grades don't matter that much.