It really irks me whenever people worry about whether or not they will be accepted into an institution due to their "low" grades.
I know most of you will disagree and say that grades are equally as important as the other aspects of the application. And I know a number of you will say that you have heard the saying "You are not a number". And I'm not saying that you are wrong. I'm just saying that it irks me.
Currently, I am on the Pre-Medical route as are many of my friends. We just had our first chemistry exam today and my friend felt like she wouldn't be able to get into medical school because she might have failed today's exam. Yes, high grades provide a higher chance to attend the next step of these admissions but the grade doesn't completely define your overall chance of admissions. Now you might be thinking, "gee this person writing this article must be really dumb" or "she's one of those people". Well, I'm neither. I'm just my own person.
In high school, I applied to this program called Texas Academy of Math and Science. Also known as TAMS. TAMS was basically program that allowed you to take college courses as a high-schooler but also living on the campus. Now, I didn't want to apply to TAMS since I knew I had no chance of getting in. My grades were mediocre (at least compared to my other peers who were also applying), and I hadn't really seriously prepared for the SAT. My mediocre grades were in the 80s-70s region. I'm only sharing this information because high school is behind me now. There's really no reason to freak out about something that I can't change anymore. I received a copy-and-pasted email from TAMS telling me they would love to have me in their program. I applied (because I thought I was special for getting the email although my friends later told me that they received the same email but it was too late to turn back). I hurriedly took the SAT and received a decent score of 1200-1300. I typed my essay and submitted my application as soon as I could and waited. A few months later, I received an email inviting me to attend their interview. I was super surprised. Someone like me, who received low grades and a pretty low score for the SAT compared to the competition, was getting the chance to be interviewed? I told my parents and they were pretty excited for me too. My parents had no experience on preparation for the interview so I went in blindly. I personally feel like I wasn't myself in the interview and didn't respond to the questions as well as I could have. Long story short, I didn't make it into TAMS but I did gain valuable experience which I used to get into college.
A few years later, I talked to my friend who was wait-listed and then accepted into TAMS about the application process and he was so shocked about how my low grades and SAT score got me into the interview process. For me, I felt like my essay was my strongest aspect of my application. Sure, I might not be smart, but I have a personality.
For my college essay, I wrote about my application experience for TAMS and I received lots of positive feedback.
Sure, my grades weren't as good as the competition, but my essay was well written and portrayed some of my personality. It sparked the admissions attention. I'm not saying to slack off on your grades but don't get so locked down on it. If you try your best, and you still don't get high grades, it doesn't make you stupid. It just means you are more knowledgeable in other subjects. You might be good at socializing or surviving on your own. Nothing should force you to stop trying. If you want to go to medical school then attempt the application. If you want to apply for a job, then just try. Don't let one small aspect of the application stop you from trying at all. If I didn't attempt the application to TAMS, I would've lost the experience of college application and interview process. I'm glad I attempted even though I wasn't accepted. It just means they found a better fit from the pool of other students applying. Nothing I did was "wrong" or "stupid". I became a better student through these failures.