Around this time, a lot of people are posting unapologetically, about grades and especially, about the Board results, saying “Grades don’t matter”. They are basically sugar coating their words in an attempt to say things, that youngsters want to hear.
Although, I do agree with the fact that grades alone are not enough for a good career prospect but, the way it is being propagated on social media, is downright stupid.
It is just an outrageous exaggeration. Many students have warped the meaning of this saying, into thinking since grades are not required for a better professional development, they don’t need to do well in academics. But is this the kind of mindset we should carry out around ourselves?
For as long as examination exist, grades will matter. It can be highlighted by the fact, that, even in the time of a pandemic, the colleges and universities are worried about the conduction of exams. And, if we want to end this concept of examination, we’ll have to go back into the time of Chinese Imperial courts of Han to Song dynasties, where Imperial Civil Services Examination took birth and later, adopted by other countries and advice the Kings, to abolish the system. Since, life is not a fairy tale or unicorns, we’ll just have to adjust to grading system.
There may be flaws in our education and grading system, but letters and numbers still hold a value. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but we’ll be only hurting ourselves in the near future if we turn blind eye to them. Colleges look at grades, so does scholarship and employers.
Now, some will question me saying, that some of the greatest minds in the world were not good in academics and to say, some were even college drop-outs. Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates are just few names from the list. It is an undeniable fact that a few of them were from a prestigious institute, even if they were drop-outs.
I know, most of us, like to believe, we are special “snowflakes” and to say, some of us are exceptionally talented, but, majority of us are average struggling students and academics our only source to access a prosperous future.
However, we should also keep in mind that we don’t need to hold a 4.0 to be successful. Grades can’t show every amazing quality we have, and colleges, scholarship organizations, and employers know this.
Instead, we can think of grades, more as measurement of how much we tried. If we are failing almost every class, there’s a strong chance we aren’t applying ourselves and reaching our full potential. To some, straight A’s come naturally, without requiring extra efforts. Some have to deal with Bs and Cs. Everyone is capable of improving. It just takes time. Just remember, we should never beat ourselves up over a low grade-as long as we tried.
Let’s consider this example. We take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
The basic problem is with the statement “Grades don’t matter”, rather it should be “low grades are not the end of the world.”
Those numbers and letters on our transcripts aren’t labels on our forehead. We are much more. I know of multiple people who have more knowledge and understanding, than the topper himself. There is no need to stress over grades so much, that you sacrifice your mental peace. They are not good enough reason to commit suicide or take some extreme measures. It is just a piece of paper with some numbers to aid in our growth. But for some, who have worked hard to bag these numbers, it’s a fruit of their labour, that we shouldn’t snatch away with patronizing social media updates.
To say, “Grades don’t matter” is a lie. Believing that grades are everything and will decide our career, our growth, our life, is a lie too. The truth lies somewhere in between.