This evening I took an adventure to Harrisburg with friends of mine to take a break from the normal Messiah life. Since most places were closed by the time we arrived, we spent our entire evening at Midtown Scholar.
After we explored the shelves of books, we settled down and sipped our coffee and recited poetry to ourselves. I shared one of my favorite pieces of literature/poetry called “You Should Date An Illiterate Girl” by Charles Warnke. The whole evening turned into a reflection of our lives and reciting deep poetry. Not only was it lovely, but it made me grateful for these quiet evenings that we have to just relax.
It seems clique now to sit around and recite poetry with your friends, but it was so nice to just sit in a bookstore, surrounded by amazing books, and discuss life.
One of the things we talked about was the value of GPAs and class grades. Although I have certain opinions on the school system, I just want to address why putting so much emphasis on grades and GPAs isn’t helpful for anyone. Yes, there’s a sense of accomplishment, and personally I need to maintain a certain GPA to keep my scholarship, but neither of those really matter come time to get a job in the real world. I know I don’t have a lot of job experience, but how many employers ask you what your GPA was, either high school or college? Most probably don’t. Employers seek real world experience in their employees, not a good grades. In fact, you can receive a C grad in a class and still emerge with the knowledge of how to do your job.
I think there’s way too much competition placed on these insignificant numbers. I can understand why they matter in high school when applying to colleges, but beyond that? Your 4.01 GPA won’t get you the job over the other guy who took two internships.
My first semester of college, I had straight As. This wasn’t new to me, as I’ve received almost exclusively straight As throughout my schooling. By the second semester, my grades had dropped at bit. I’m now in my fourth semester of college, and I know my grades aren’t perfect, but they’re not bad either. I have straight high Bs, maybe a lower B. However, I’m the treasurer for PRSSA, I volunteer for the Pulse doing photography and writing, I have two jobs, one in the library and one as a Communication work study. As a work study, I write newsletters, do office work and interviews, and other jobs. My grades may have lowered a bit, but I’m getting a lot more experience in other areas of my life.
I’ve found that as I continue with college, grades matter less. I’m not promoting anyone to slack off in class, but it’s okay to not dedicate your entire life to getting an A in every class. One of my friend’s said tonight, “I think if you’re getting an A in a class, you’re not being challenged enough.” I think this is completely true. Freshman year classes were easy, plus I had more than enough time to dedicate to them. My classes continue to get more challenging, as it should be, but I still enjoy them. But I also know that I can’t dedicate all my time to my classes. I gain knowledge from them and learn the skills I need, but I believe it’s more beneficial to apply those skills outside of the classroom, rather than sitting inside and studying a textbook.
Cheers, and (officially) Happy Birthday to my roommate!