Oh, that GPA…

© Karen Galstyan
© Karen Galstyan

Among numerous conceptions that I got acquainted with when I started college was something called GPA. This was another word that was added to the list of things that I had to worry about as a “freshly baked” student. A GPA (Grade Point Average) is a number that represents the average value of the final grades of the taken courses. By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about (even though it is extremely unlikely that there’s somebody here roaming around without knowing about GPAs, but everything is possible, right?), you should really go check the 11th page of the student handbook. In a nutshell, GPA is the declaration of what kind of a student you are.

However, it wouldn’t be a phenomenal discovery if I told you that grades aren’t always an accurate indication of one’s potential, they are shaped by different factors that vary from institutions to institutions. So, as a college student, am I supposed to tear myself into pieces for my GPA? The answer is yes… and no.

Like it or not, GPA is going to be your best bud for the next four years (three years for sophomores already). “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” This proverb clearly displays the importance of having a good relationship with your GPA, because sometimes, people without knowing you, are going to draw conclusions about you by looking at your GPA. GPA is also different from the “grades” we used to get in middle school in a way that it plays an enormous role in your applicability or eligibility when applying for another college or a job (higher GPAs being given priority, of course). Even though grades are not always a truthful reflection of one’s potential, the invalidity rarely occurs in colossal amounts. Moreover, grades usually, more or less, do epitomize a picture that resembles the reality. Therefore, GPA is the key to the doors of success and a secured future. In order to get that key, we should work hard.

Nevertheless, let’s not forget that each coin has two sides. Sometimes, in the process of trying to achieve and manage a high or perfect GPA, we gradually start to pay more attention to the grades we get and less and less attention to the actual things we should learn. Somewhere in that process, we lose the sense of purpose. This results in a perfect external representation (a perfect GPA) and a dreadful internal condition (no fundamental knowledge). Ultimately, expertise and insight are what people will be looking for.

Keeping grades up and maintaining a high GPA is of vital importance for us, students. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that sole numbers aren’t the exact indication of intelligence and knowledge.

Emma Kirakossyan

One comment

  • Emma, you have beautifully brought to your readers attention the importance of focusing on learning and not (only) grades. Thank you.


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