Looking past the grades


I am not an efficient studier. I do everything that administrators tell a student not to do: cramming the night before a big test, staying up until 1 am before a midterm and pittering away precious study time on social media. As to my purpose in school, sometimes I would even call myself more of a grade-getter rather than a future-seeker.

For students like me, acing an AP calculus test, mastering Spanish vocab, or writing a perfect English essay are all accomplishments that we strive for. Countless hours in our busy lives are spent studying (sometimes cramming) in order to get the reward: a good grade.

We would do anything for a good grade. Whether it’s fighting a teacher for that extra half point or checking Home Access Center multiple times a day, motivated students care about their grades.

However, along with this passion for grades comes a materialistic sense of pride. Students may go to the means of taking an “easy AP” in an attempt to boost their numerical representation to colleges (or GPA).

What I’ve come to realize is that in many cases students like me fail to look past the grade we receive. We look for a way to grasp where we are in relation to others, something tangible, as our futures are not.

Though we may be motivated students per say, we simply forget to maintain a holistic outlook on school and the implications of our studies.

School is just a stepping stone into the future, a pathway to our future lives. Whether or not we make use of it efficiently is up to us, but good grades may not always correlate to an efficient student.

Straight A’s do imply a strong understanding of course material and a successful student. They also put a student in the right place to success later in life. However, they do not directly translate to a successful future or a happy life.

This is why a motivated grade-getter and a realistic future-seeker are two completely different types of students. Falling into the trap of a grade-getter is easy, but a combination of both is what makes an effective student.