Grades don’t define us


Vishwa Jani

Poet and writer

The ideal student would be one who was not working for grades, but was working because he was interested in the work and not trying to compete with fellow students.

- Carl David Anderson

The teacher starts announcing the test marks one by one. There are joyful screams of 96s, 98s, 93s. Suddenly she says 45 following my name. All the joy and excitement flatter away. The only thing seen is 45 circled with a red pen. Everyone got above-average marks. It’s not that I didn’t study, it’s that I can’t mug up historical dates.

It happens with most of us. Isn’t it so?

A negative feeling of being the one scoring low marks hits us.

We know that it’s not all our fault. Maybe one of us got stuck in the hospital with a fracture. One of us spent a little too much time on Netflix. And one of us studied all night but due to exam anxiety, forgot everything.

Our generation is going through a time of tests, standards, and benchmarks that lead to competition, competition, and competition. These result in more stress and pressure towards doing well, and more anger and negativity especially when we are not doing well. This will affect our mental health and eventually lead to scoring less.

But tell me one thing, is our future in turmoil just because of this one letter ‘B’ in history? Will this report card tell about our personality, work ethic, athletic ability, devotion to art, curiosity, passion or any other thing except how much one can learn from syllabus?

There are so many wonderful things about us as an individual that a report card cannot express.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do our best in academics. We all should know that ‘ grades don’t define us…but they do matter’. Grades do matter. There may be flaws but yes, numbers still hold value. Colleges look at grades, scholarship organizations look at grades and employers also see them. It is not necessary to have A's to be successful and everyone knows that. Even if we are getting B or C after giving our best, then it's okay. We are all capable of improving, at our own time (If we try).

Those numbers on our transcripts aren’t labels on our foreheads. We are much more than that. Good grades are important, but not so important that we should pull all-nighters until we collapse. Finding a healthy balance is possible and important.

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Rohit Chopra
Hey Vishwa excellent article! I know many people who didn't have good grades but are stalwarts in the industry. Very balanced and authentic article 😀