Why Grades Will Never Determine Your Success

Why Grades Will Never Determine Your Success

Just because you fail a class doesn't mean you are a failure.

As the spring semester is upon us, we are telling ourselves that we are ‘determined’ to get straight A’s this semester. That we will study for at least four hours a night, and to stay on top of things. As we all know this is true for ever college student, for about a week. Then life kicks in. You have to work after class, you get sick, or you procrastinate everything to the very last minute. Then things get harder as the semester goes on, and it seems that the more you study, the worse you do on quizzes and exams.

Going through high school and college, everyone talks about grades. People are going around comparing ACT scores and talking about how ‘bad’ they are doing when they got a 90 on a test. Those people drive me, (and I’m sure they drive you too) crazy. They can make you feel discouraged, and maybe a little stupid, which is exactly what you aren’t.

As a millennial, our generation is still in high school/college, and maybe just being a few years out of college. We are a pretty emotional generation, and that we sometimes let words get to us. Hearing about how well people did on a test, or that they got into a really hard school/program, can make us feel a little under accomplished. You compare those scores to your scores, and how well you do, and it makes you feel like garbage. You are trying your hardest and studying really hard, why aren’t you getting the same scores as them?

Here is the answer: there is no answer. That’s just the way it is. Some people naturally retain and pick up on information easier than others and are really good at school. However, you (the one who struggles with getting good grades, even though you study your a** off) are at an advantage. With all of the studying and extra miles you are going to understand a concept, you are building a work ethic.

When you get out into the real world, and find a real job, are they going to sit and go through your transcripts and see how you did in English 101 freshman year? No, they are going to see that you went to college and got some degree and have some higher education, they don’t care what grade you got in that class.

Now, let’s say that you get hired. You are completely qualified for the job. You have been there for a little while, and you begin to apply yourself, working hard to make sure you do the right job, and understand things clearly so you can do your job correctly.

Your boss sees that you are improving the company and working really hard (based off your work ethic that you developed throughout your academic career) and…you get promoted because you are applying yourself and working hard! So, let me ask you this, does this have anything to do with how well you did in a class? No!

Don’t get me wrong, work hard in school and always try to get A’s, but if you don’t it’s not the end of the world. If you are working hard and trying your very best, that is all that matters. Grades do not determine success, you do.

Cover Image Credit: Emma McAllister

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20 Signs You Are "SO Done" With This Semester

*Eye rolls self into different dimension.

The last month of the semester is the hardest month of all. Summer is almost here, and motivation is hard to come by. For most of us, it is pretty clear when we have reached this point; the daydreaming increases and the study groups decrease.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

Here are 20 signs that you are SO DONE with this semester.

1. Your bank account looks similar to your GPA.

2. Naps are a hobby.

3. You've stopped reading the required material.

4. You begin calculating your grades to see what you need to pass.

5. Netflix has become your #1 priority.

6. You're counting down the days to summer break.

7. Dry shampoo is your go-to.

8. Your room is a mess.

9. School work feels impossible to complete.

10. Your fridge consists of mainly condiments.

11. Your "to do" list hasn't been touched in weeks.

12. Your motivation is nonexistent.

13. Everyone and everything is starting to get on your nerves.

14. Going to class is the ultimate struggle.

15. Wearing "real clothes" isn't a thing.

16. Waking up on time takes you 10x times more effort.

17. Exhaustion has become part of your personality.

18. You think about dropping out...all the time.

19. You indulge in extra fun.

20. You questioning your sanity on a regular basis.

Cover Image Credit: people.com

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Patience Is More Important Than A 4-Year Degree

One means nothing without the other.


Senior year makes you reflect on what you've accomplished in your college career. The classes, professors, peers, clubs and organizations, great choices, terrible choices, and everything in between all accumulates into one unique experience for each individual. If there's one thing that I've learned while putting my life into perspective this year, it's that college is mostly bullshit.

Yes, classes can be cool and informative. Yes, you can learn a lot from your professors. But how much of what you learn in the classroom directly relates to what you'll be doing for a living? Unless you're going to med school, probably not much. Do any internship, talk to any person in a company that you want to work for, and they'll all tell you the same thing – what you went through to earn your 4-year certificate to work is only 5% of what you need to do the job.

You need hard skills, which are things that directly translate into your performance as a worker. You need people skills, aka "well yes this person is certainly qualified to do the job, but am I going to enjoy being in an office with them for 40 hours per week or more?" Most importantly, however, I think you need patience.

College students are under so much pressure in the 18-25 age range to have our lives completely figured out. If we don't, then the older generation and even our peers like to frame us as failures. In reality, less than one percent of us know what we want to do for the rest of our lives and we try painting a picture on social media and construct great narratives in person to make it seem as if we know what we're doing. Why can't we emphasize patience as it is a powerful virtue?

We get so caught up in other's expectations of us that we forget that we are only in the first quarter of our lives, and we have the entire ball game to go (thanks @garyvee for that line). Why do people get so bent out of shape when we're not even at halftime? Patience is incredibly important to learn, both for your mental health and ability to perform. Most of what you learn to do your job will be learned while on the job, so stressing out about grades shouldn't be your top priority. Yes, making good grades is optimal, but employers will be more impressed with what you've managed to do aside from earning your grades in school.

Most of us at this age are going to be able to work until we are in our 70s easily (thanks to healthcare and technology). This means we have 40-50 really good years of production in us. It took the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, seven years to win his first title. If Jordan was patient enough to go seven years being the greatest player, then you can stay patient for a few years to figure out what you love to do and become great at it. Four years in college is nothing in relation to your entire career, especially when the value of those four years doesn't come from your classes, but instead your connections.

Our greatest weakness in this generation is our lack of patience and perspective. It becomes a dangerous thing when we have a loaded resume, have ample skills, a great personality, awesome work ethic, but still think we are failures because we don't have a job or aren't entirely sure of where we're going with our lives. If you're that college student (and trust me, I was for a long time), finding your patient side and gaining that perspective on life will help you go a lot further than sweating the small stuff.

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