Hey, College Students—Your Grades Should Not Define You

Hey, College Students—Your Grades Should Not Define You

Feeling defined by your grades is not healthy, yet society makes you believe that a single "A" can determine your entire future.

Grades. Those simple, yet so stressful letters. Every semester, so many students push themselves to get that perfect A no matter what it takes. If it takes spending the entire weekend doing nothing but homework for 12 hours a day, or not being involved in any activities, they will do it. I personally used to be this type of person, and I know many others who either used to be or still are.

For those of you who are the type of person that stresses over perfect grades and a perfect GPA, I am going to explain to you my reasoning for no longer pushing myself to my limits in order to be seen as "perfect" when it comes to school.

Let's begin with the background of grades. What is the origin of a C being average? Or an A being perfect? The simplified answer to this question is that someone a long time ago decided that people should be separated by how well they understand a certain topic, and then use those separations to show ranks of achievement.

So yes, I am telling you that you are stressing yourself to your limits for letter divisions that someone decided to come up with a few hundred years ago.

If you feel as though you need to surf the internet to confirm my summary, then you are suffering from what is called "caring too much about caring about perfect grades," which is even worse than just caring about perfect grades.

What about grades in a specific class? Well first off, the percentage range of each letter grade is set by the professor of the course. This is just one way in which the professor has control of how difficult it is to get a certain grade in the course; and of course a lot of them think you should be able to fully understand every aspect of their fancy post-PhD level research by the end of the course.

What about your GPA when it comes to finding jobs? At this point I should clarify that this article is not intended to say that grades don't matter at all, because they do. The point I am trying to get across is that getting perfect grades is not worth the unhealthy stress they put you through.

With that, as long as you try in school enough to get B's and even some C's, you should be perfectly fine when it comes to employers wanting to hire you. More and more employers are interviewing using behavioral-based interviews, which shows that they are more interested in how well you will work with their current employees, rather than why you didn't get a perfect grade in Calculus 3.

In addition, once you have work experience, your college GPA will likely become less relevant.

In the end, your grades in college correlate to your future employment. Once you have been employed for 5 years and you decide to get a different job, it is likely that companies will be more interested in your previous work experience rather than you college GPA. I would like to reiterate that I am not saying anyone should just completely stop trying in school, but rather I am saying that maybe you don't have to try to be perfect when it comes to grades in order to feel successful and happy in life.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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