If there's anything I strongly despise about college (and even high school), it's how much GPA is taken into consideration.
I understand how in some cases looking at someone's GPA is important to a particular process, whether it's being admitted into a college, program, internship, etc. It's important to get an overview look on where someone stands academically, and sometimes board members or organizations want the best qualifying candidate for their team or university.
But what's frustrating is that sometimes a GPA is not enough to reflect the student as a whole, such as their strengths, achievements, hard work, etc. Those three numbers on a report card don't reflect the countless of hours that a student spends in a library trying to memorize human anatomy. It doesn't reflect the stress that the student feels of trying to juggle multiple courses, alongside other outside priorities, such as clubs, leadership, and so on. It most importantly doesn't reflect the student's passion and drive for what they want to do later in their life.
The only thing that people choose to let it reflect is the student's success so far in their college career, and this way of thinking needs to change.
From the beginning of high school, we're taught that having a certain score as a GPA is bad and that you're probably one of the worst students on the planet. We're taught that if you have a 4.0 that you'd be perfect for an Ivy League, you'll make tons of money in whatever you do, whereas if you have something below a 3.0, you're not trying hard enough. But this is such a toxic way to think, because at the end of the day, your GPA only consists of numbers and only numbers.
When I first started high school, I struggled transitioning to the pace of learning in each of my classes. No matter how hard I tried, how many hours I spent studying with friends, or how many times I went in for a consultation with my teacher, I still wasn't getting the grades I wanted. As a result, my grades went down, which overall affected my GPA for the rest of my time in high school. I continued to try my hardest and to make the honor roll and dean's list, but because of my lower scores from freshman year, my GPA barely went up to what I wanted it to be. Because of this, I wasn't able to get into the specific college program that I wanted to, and it made me feel like I just wasn't good enough. I personally knew, as well as my all friends and family, how passionate and hardworking of a student I was, and that I wanted to pursue the communication studies path. Except the three numbers on my transcript were the declaring factor on whether I could or not.
But what I've learned over these past few years is that we as students are so much more than those three numbers. You don't need a perfect score to determine how intelligent or driven you are, nor do you need it to be considered the perfect student. Because the fact of the matter is: there is no such thing as a "perfect" student. We all have our challenges, our inner battles, our obstacles in the middle of the road preventing us from the path we're trying to take. There are times where we might slip up and fall back out of line, but that's completely normal. We are all different and we are going to have different GPA's, but that doesn't make anyone more or less important than the student next to them.
So if you're currently a high school or college student who's stressed about your GPA, just remember your significance and that you are more powerful than what those numbers on your transcript are telling you. Don't ever forget your strengths, your passions, and the tiny quirks that make you unique, because all of those things matter.
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