What Do Your Grades Mean To You?

Isabel Steinhoff, Reporter

You spend around 13 years dedicated to going to school and to learn as much as you let yourself learn. Times have definitely changed from when our parents and even our grandparents have gone to school. Before, it didn’t matter what letter grade you got in class, as long as you got an education. Now, it matters what your grades are in your classes, what your G.P.A. is, what your class rank is, and even becoming your class valedictorian! School has become this huge competition for not only students, but their parents as well. Of course, I’m not speaking for everyone, but for the students who strive to be the best students. Behind every accomplished student there’s something there that motivates or pushes them,  and majority of the time it’s their parents. For some students, their parents are the reason they get good grades, whereas some students are doing it on their own and for themselves.

I’m the type of student where my parents are the reason behind my grades. Pretty much all my life my parents have been “drilling” me about getting good grades and striving to becoming the valedictorian. My sister was a valedictorian, so you can see where that added pressure may come from. It sometimes seems like they get more stressed about my grades than I do. Because they put so much pressure on me, there are days where I just feel like giving up. Then again, I know that they’re only pressing on the idea because they want me to have the brightest and best future I could have, which then brings me back to getting good grades. I’ve become so used to the idea of “straight A’s” that now, if I were to get any other grade besides an A, it’ll bother me. And it has. I don’t have the “straight A’s” report card anymore. Of course my parents reacted and disappointment occurred. It made me feel like I was a big “mess up.” After that bad grade, it made me think about what my grades mean to me. I do wish that I could go back and redo that grade over. Since that isn’t possible, all I can do now is to just do better.

For those other students that motivate themselves, I give props to them. They don’t need the pressure of their parents to get their good grades, they do it for themselves. I used to think that they are more hard on themselves than the ones who get good grades because of pressure. But now I think both students are equally hard on themselves, but in different ways. The ones that strive on their own are hard on themselves because they create their own mindset of thinking. The type of student that I categorize with are hard on themselves because we don’t want to disappoint our parents, most of the time. Basically what I’m trying to say is that grades seem to have become more of a stress problem rather than the actual education itself. I could be wrong about all of this, but it was just something to think about.

School isn’t forever, so how do you or will you value your grades? Another question to ponder over whether or not you think your grades really show your performance in your classes?