Growing up I was a little, shall we say, nerdy. OK no that’s false. I was THE BIGGEST NERD EVER. The instant I got home I plopped down and to do my homework. The concept of going out and playing when my homework wasn’t done was…well, ludicrous, frankly.
This continued for my entire academic career, right until the end of college. And guess what? No one gives a shit. No one.
I’m lucky enough to be a professional writer, but unlucky in that no one cares 1) what my GPA was or 2) where I even went to college. People definitely want to hire a college grad—but no one has ever even verified that I actually attended.
As I sat through numerous job interviews, I began to get very bitter that I’d worked my butt off to get into the best school I could only to have my eyes glaze over when I mentioned it.
Didn’t they appreciate how I slaved over Stats and agonized through Econ? Could they not fathom how hard I worked to pass Bio? I’m not one of those girls who, academically, is good at everything. I’m only good at words. Science, math—anything in that realm is like torture. But still, I toiled for years to not just pass those classes but ace them, SURE that one day someone would appreciate it. They didn’t.
Now, hold on here. This is a very slippery slope. You’re probably hearing me say something like “Come with me! Careen down this hill of ‘I don’t give an eff’ at my side and feel the wind of whateverishness blow through your hair as you sail away from piles of homework, towards total freedom!”
I’m not saying that. Not at all. In fact, I’m kind of saying the opposite. If I could do my academic career all over again, it’d go something like this:
Work really hard in elementary and middle school—here you learn things you actually use like how to read, how to spell, how to multiply and history. Knowing about history makes you cool as an adult. Seriously.
Work really hard in high school—this is the most important because it determines where you go to college. What you learn at university is, in many cases, irrelevant. It matters more that you went and where you went than anything. You want to go to the best college possible so you can meet the best teachers/people/boyfriends/friends possible and make the best connections. This will make your life IMMENSELY easier. Seriously.
Slack off in college except for courses I care about—I just about killed myself to pass Econ and guess what, it’s still a total mystery to me. Looking back, I wish I’d devoted all that time to really learning grammar or reading different authors—that would have been way better for my career than diagramming, um, currencies? See, I don’t even know what I’m talking about even in the vaguest sense. SERIOUSLY.
My point is—you should only stress over grades if you don’t know what you want to do in life. Because if you decide to go for a graduate degree or switch careers, you’ll need a kick-ass GPA. But if you, like me, know from the get-go that you’re going to pick one track and stick to it, focus your learning there and don’t panic if you don’t ace courses that ultimately don’t matter to you.
Getting good grades can be uber stressy. Here’s to a school year with less effed-up stress and way more fun.
Are you with me in thinking that good grades don’t matter so much, or do you think I’m cray? Tell me in the comments!