I find it quite materialistic and superficial to study and work hard just for grades. I’m more of a “do what you love and you shall succeed in that” person. But I’ve realized that the real world doesn’t exactly work like that, especially when you have compulsory foundation courses and haven’t fully found your academic knack. Hence, sometimes I need to step on my principles and just suck it up. I had realized this for the first time when I was 13 and conditioned myself into the habit of getting good grades (you can read about that here) but for a (sort of) stupid reason I unconditioned myself into not getting good grades once again. I listed down the reasons as to why once again I need to get back into that habit.
I am quite greedy for the rewards that a high GPA can fetch for me, not the GPA itself. That is because I am intrinsically motivated for these rewards. They include hands on experience, travel, the opportunity to meet new people and some real life challenges. So a high GPA or grades in that sense is just a means to an end, unless I’m really enjoying my course material.
- Parents– I can get permission to travel, attend different events and do more things that I enjoy (which could include educational programs) more easily if I keep them happy with an above average good grade. They don’t (always) expect me to get really good grades, but there is a bare minimum that I need to keep for a peaceful relationship. It’s like a barter- I get what I want as long as I keep them happy. However I do break the rules a lot of times and force them to give in even when I have nothing good on my name to show. But I want to break this habit because it seems unfair. Also note, that my passion for music, writing or activism isn’t taken into account in this barter. This is serious marksheet business, which I often feel bad about.
- More educational travel– In order to get through for programs, workshops or educational opportunities I’m interested in (through which I also get exposure to different places and new people), that may or may not be prestigious but very fitting to my interests, I need to show my GPA. A lot of these programs have minimum GPA requirements and if not, they at least ask for it. I don’t want to compromise my chances to get through these programs.
- Getting Scholarships: Even if I do get through a program that I’m passionate about, there could be chances that I can’t afford it and would need funding. At such times, one’s GPA does become crucial. Even my college that claims to only give need based aid for summer school programs does take one’s GPA into account. Besides that, a lot of times I don’t make it for the need based aid criterion and then applying for a merit based scholarship becomes my only resort.
- Getting Internships– Most internships too ask for resumes where one’s GPA is to be mentioned. I don’t want to lose out on opportunities that excite me in any way.
- Grad school admissions: It’s always been my dream to study in a good, liberal U.S school. Even though I’ve heard all my teen life that U.S colleges don’t care that much about one’s grades and keeping them above average is enough (like more than a 75%) , it’s probably true for Undergrad admissions. Even then, its only plus point to have superior grades. But since that ship (undergrad admissions) has sailed, and for grad admissions, my co-curriculars (from what I’ve heard) matter even less, my GPA and GRE score would literally be the only reason they’ll even see my application in the first place (since there’s a minimum GPA/GRE score screening I’ve heard).