Lately I’ve been seeing an overwhelming amount of “You are not your GPA” articles. They all hit on one main point: you are worth more than your grade point average in school. While I wholeheartedly agree with this, there is more to it than that.
At the end of the fall semester, my grades made me cringe. I had an “oh well, it doesn’t define me” attitude, but it still aggravated me in the back of my mind. I knew I didn’t slack off but plainly could have done more to earn better grades. I put off tutoring sessions, was often late to classes, and watched a little too much Netflix.
I knew a number didn’t define my intelligence or my character. But I also knew that I was using this partially as an excuse not to do my absolute best.
On winter break, I began applying to summer internships. The first internship I applied for asked for my GPA. I trembled at this. I thought to myself: these organizations know nothing about my intelligence, character, or diligence. They’ll see a number, and whether I like it or not, they’ll most likely make judgement calls from that.
No, GPA doesn’t “define” you, but it’s still important.
If it’s between you and one other person to get the job, your GPA may be the determining factor. Sure, comparing GPAs is not always fair. Students have contrasting majors, take a variety of classes, and some professors are just plain easier than others. However, you won’t have time to explain this to employers. On average, employers look at a resume for just six seconds. It’s the unfortunate reality.
All of this should work as a motivation to do better and be better.
Ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can in school. Are you completing the reading assignments, working through the homework, attending tutoring, and studying in your free time? Doing better simply means giving every class your full effort and attention.
Being better means forming better habits and respecting yourself enough to know what’s best for you and your future. Get a decent amount of sleep each night, eat healthily, and exercise your body and mind. Plainly work to be the best you can be.
Prove to yourself that you can have the most success in a class you thought you’d never do well in. Instead of expecting failure, prepare for greatness. Going through the motions won’t get you that job interview or dream position.
This semester, keep your eye on the end goal. You will be proud knowing you did your best.