“Students only care about grades”: Well what do you expect? I honestly hate it when people say this and a bunch of other similar phrases. Of course students only care about grades. I mean that’s all we’re taught to care about or at least that’s all we’ve learned that matters. It’s come to a point where we are judged based off a letter. Colleges, coaches, teachers, parents… anyone we pay any respect to judges us based on the letters we receive. Do these letters determine how much I’ve learned? no. Do they describe me as a person? no. Can I not understand a single thing in the class and make it out with an A? yes. Can I understand the material in the class and still receive a low grade? Yes
“Grades don’t matter”- Please tell this to colleges, my parents, my teachers, and anyone who has any influence on my future. Grades determine what college i get into which affects how good of a job i get which basically determines my future. And for those who say that colleges look for leadership skills, extra curricular and all that, yes they do, but what’s the most important thing they look at? Grades. Everything else is just extra. So unless your a superstar at your sport, chances are you won’t make it into your dream school without good grades. And you know what else? Society puts pressure on students making them feel that if they don’t get into the best of the best school then they have failed at life. So if you want me to stop obsessing over my grades please tell everyone else that grades don’t matter. Until then, let me freak out in peace.
“It’s about how much you learn”- Once again please tell colleges that. On my transcript, I only see a bunch of course names and a bunch of letters next to them. These letters don’t determine how much I’ve learned. For each of my classes if i could write a paragraph about how this class has affected me, how much I’ve learned, how i will apply the class to my life then i would. But sadly I can’t. But colleges aren’t there in my classes.. They don’t know how much I’ve struggled so therefore they can only judge me based off of a letter. So it’s not really about what you’ve learned but instead what grade you manged to get. One student can learn nothing and receive a high grade as opposed to a student who has learned a ton but still receive a low grade. Colleges won’t see those things. All they see is that one student got a high grade and the other got a low grade.
“One grade letter down won’t kill you”- Really? One letter grade drops my GPA .2. That’s right, I can go from a 4.4 to a 4.2 or a 4.0 to a 3.8 and so forth. Even if i had an 89.9, colleges only see that i got a B. I might as well have gotten an 80%. And will this GPA drop kill me? Not necessarily but it will affect me. Especially with how competitive and selective these colleges are getting.
Students really want to learn. I want to be able to take all these different elective classes in high school and try new things. Isn’t that what high school is supposed to be about? Trying new things so you can pick your college major? But right now I need to decide whether or not I should take the classes i want to take versus the ones that will bring my GPA up. For example, I’m trying to figure out my schedule for next year. I really want to take choir, or an intro art class, or photography, and a business class but how am i supposed to fit those into my schedule? Right now, as a sophomore i’m trying to plan my junior year schedule and it’s looking like this: AP united states history, Ap bio, AP english, AP spanish, Ap Calculus. I don’t see any room for any extra fun electives. And anyways, those classes would just bring my GPA down. I really want to try new things but with this hectic schedule i can’t
So overall, you’re right. Students are obsessed with grades. Most don’t care about learning and many would do anything for the A. But it’s not like we want to be obsessed. Trust me, we really don’t We would love it if we could just enjoy ourselves and have fun. We would love to learn and just try our hardest and know that everything will be ok. But we can’t. Not with all the pressure on us to get into good colleges and succeed in life. So if you want us to stop freaking out about our grades then stop putting so much emphasis on it. It’s sort depressing that our worth is based on a letter.