Grades do not ultimately define us

By Kevin McLaughlin
April 26, 2020

Grade point averages appear to be critical when it comes to defining intelligence. Although many people, myself included, believe grades are an inaccurate measurement of judging how smart someone really is.

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It was not until I entered college where I began to truly improve my grades. My whole academic career left me in fear and caused low self-esteem due to not maintaining a high grade in every course. To this day, I still am stressed about grades just like many other students around the world.

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Photo by NEA Today of a struggling student

Taking tests in school appears to be one of the most stressful and frustrating points in the lives of many students. It can be extremely complicated for students to prepare accordingly. It is not just one-course students are focused on. There are several courses in some cases for students, which makes it extremely difficult to cram in studying in such a short time.

Down time can play a role in the performance of many students. Having no time to regroup thoughts can pile different amounts of complications. Not only could this result in poor grade performances, but it can also affect the subconscious of a person as well.

Poor grades could possibly result in adismissal from an institution. Unhealthy habits come out of this situation as well.

Speaking for myself, low grades affected the lack of eating and the lack of motivation as well. In high school, I found myself rarely eating breakfast and sometimes not even dinner. I was in such panic mode that I didn’t think twice about it. The motivation to continue working as hard as possible came into play for me as well. In high school, I did not respond well to poor performances and would lose confidence.

The will to push back and overcome obstacles in life is what I believe should be viewed as equal importance. Different strategies and ways to succeed over a course of time is something that is more valuable. Although it could take someone a long time, it is most certainly doable.

Michael Lelli, sophomore business management major, is an agreement that grades are not an accurate representation of intelligence. “I think it’s unfair how the world works when it comes to grades because there’s plenty of smart people that don’t do well in school,” Lelli said. “A transcript doesn’t tell the whole story of who someone is at all,” Lelli said.

Kyle McCaughey, sophomore psychology major, is in agreement, like Lelli, on the topic of grades defining intelligence. “I think getting to know a person and listening to the way they speak and react is a better way to help determine intelligence,” McCaughey said. “There have been plenty of successful people without a college degree that were probably told they were failures for most of their lives,” McCaughey said.

Amanda Lynn, junior special education major, appears to be in agreement with both sides of the spectrum. She believes grades can be a way to determine intelligence. “I think grades are critical for getting a job in the future, but I don’t think it is the only way to show someone is smart,” Lynn said.

The point that is being driven across is that grades are not the most reliable target when trying to determine intelligence. There are many factors that come into a student’s life and it can be extremely difficult to deal with. While some respond with a better attitude, it is not as easy for others to respond as well.




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Kevin McLaughlin

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