The end of April signifies the fast approach of the warm and blissful days of Summer. But for college kids, the end of April means a hellish week full of final exams, papers, and presentations that stand in our way of the pearly gates that lead to the coveted 3 months of freedom. I know, I know. You're probably moaning and groaning about having 5 final exams, 2 presentations, and a 10-page paper due in the matter of 7 days. It's probably so bad you're at the point that not even a huge pot of coffee and an all-nighter can save you.
We as a society put too much emphasis on grades. Meanwhile it's just a letter that we find ourselves stressing over. Don't get me wrong; grades are important, but does it have to be to the extent that we're neglecting our mental health and well-being? Grades are not everything. They shouldn't be everything.
I've seen so many people get discouraged that they didn't make the 4.0 GPA they wanted. Hey, you're striving for great things, but is there something else you're putting at risk in the process? Even if you don't do well on your exams, don't think of it as the end-all-be-all. I remember my first semester of Sophomore year. I did OK in my Statistics class only to completely bomb the final despite my best efforts which brought my grade down to a D which ultimately wasn't good enough to transfer to a four year school. Was it disappointing? Yes. Was I proud of myself? No. But in times of failure, there are times for redemption. I retook the course over the Summer and improved to a high B.
I'm not encouraging failure, but if it happens, it's not the end of the world like some us may believe. The only true failure is when you stop trying. Not everyone in college is a genius, but you don't have to be one to be successful either. Don't allow your grades or GPA to be your source of life enrichment. Let your experiences shape the life you intend to have. Don't neglect sleep or a few minutes of 'you' time to make that A+ because chances are, it won't hurt it to begin with. Stress and lack of sleep are shown to actually negatively affect your classroom performance so don't feel obligated to sacrifice your slumber and sanity if you've already put in a considerable amount of study hours in. Find a balance. Don't feel the need to isolate yourself completely. Even just an hour of friendly interaction can ease your mind and thinking process allowing a clearer mindset.
If this semester overall wasn't your greatest, plan for your next semester to be. Trust me, your grade point average is not a difficult thing to improve. Again, I'm not encouraging you to completely blow off your studies, but don't put too much pressure on something that only gets you so far. You have to take in account your effort and hard work, and if a 100% is given, then you'll go farther than you ever thought you could. Just don't lose sight of your plans and priorities.