Why Grades Are Important

They’re not. It’s a simple letter for crying out loud.

But, instead of purely rebelling against the system and failing all of your classes on purpose, learn to use our American grading system to your advantage. Math. English. Science. History.

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French. They’re all important subjects to learn. Well I’m going to be a scientist so I don’t need to know history or read boring literature. Sure, you can get by and succeed in life without knowing a lot of the information we learn in school. But school is more than a place where you’re constantly being forced to memorize facts.

It’s a place where you can freely explore what your true interests are. It’s a place where you have everything you need to learn anything that you want. FOR FREE (ignoring the fact that it’s our parents’ taxes that pay for our education). It’s taken me years to come to this realization because being brought up with an Asian strictness on the importance of grades, I spent all elementary school believing that nothing less than perfect is worth celebrating. And to a point, it is healthy to strive for perfection. But not in the way that I was striving.

I was so obsessed with my grades – IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. So when high school hit and extracurricular activities really started building up, I became stressed beyond repair. It got to the point where I would constantly break down (at least once a month…

okay maybe it wasn’t just the stress – curse you, PMS) and all of my teachers would say to me “you look really stressed.” What’s the point of an A in school if I feel like an F in life? But this year, I realized that grades are purely a mark for me, and me only. My mind is my most valuable asset, and I am lucky enough to live in a community where I can receive a quality public education. The more I learn, the more I can understand how this world works. Sure, there are some things we just can’t explain, but I like to feel the thrill from trying. So I learn.

For myself, because everything and anything can be fascinating. And tests? I make them my own personal gauge to understand how well I know or don’t know something. I don’t look at my grade, I look at what I got wrong. I don’t strive for the A or the 4.0.

I strive to know. To be confident in all subjects so I can participate in any discussion that may cross my academic path. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. What I know is my gain. What I don’t know is my loss.

I am not defined by my grades nor by my GPA. Only I know how well I know a subject. Only I know my strengths and my weaknesses. There is so much out there that I don’t know, and there is so much out there that I do know. I could never define my knowledge with a letter or a number. Because once I allow my knowledge and my own self to be defined, I become finite.

And learning is infinite.