In this article, I am going to briefly discuss if getting good grades is important for the future. Please allow me to start off this article by sharing some of my own personal experience.
I did not consider myself a bright student when I was young until I was Form 3 when I “accidentally” obtained the third position in class (accidentally because I am not sure how I got it - probably my classmates did pretty badly!). I felt proud of my achievement and started to become greedy. I told myself I wanted more, I wanted to be the first in the class! I began to study hard and after that incident, I aced most of my exams and passed my O level with flying colours. I was awarded the “Top in Brunei Darussalam in Accounting” by the University of Cambridge and the Ministry of Education, Brunei. That’s when I started to have the mindset that my future would be bright just by studying hard and scoring all A’s in the exams.
After my high school, I was having difficulties in deciding which university I should go to and what course to take. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have some senior friends to give me good advice and I ended up doing Engineering. One piece of advice that influenced me the most till today was a quote by one of my seniors just a few weeks before I left the country.
“Having a Ph.D doesn’t mean that you can handle the working world”After listening to that quote, I went home and did a self-reflection. I started wondering if it was compulsory to get good grades to become successful in life. I wondered whether the things taught in the classroom would be sufficient enough for me to prepare for the future.
I realized - No! It is not compulsory for you to get good grades in order to be successful. It has been a tradition that most of our parents have high expectations on us. And because we were taught since young to get good grades, scoring A’s in examinations became a common practice for us. In my point of view, we should start changing this mindset. It is no longer relevant today. I consider myself lucky for being able to realize this early; that one does not need to be defined only by their academic performance. Look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs; they didn’t need a degree to become successful. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discouraging you from furthering your studies. What I wanted to emphasize is to stop having the mindset of “Getting good grades mean you will perform well in your future career”. Instead, start finding out things that will prepare you better for your future aside from the A’s.
There must always be something that is not covered by the syllabus but is extremely important for the future; for instance, how to communicate effectively. Your language class may have taught you how to speak and write properly but communicating with people effectively is a skill that requires a lot of practice. How do you deal with your clients? You may have learned that inside the classroom for a semester or so during your undergraduate studies but is that the case in reality? Start discovering by working as a client server and see how it differs from what you have learned in class.
There are so many useful skills that you need to acquire in life and most of these will not be formally taught in class. Begin your discovering journey today and start learning by joining a club or the student council. It’s the simplest yet most efficient way for a beginner to start learning things. Try involving yourself with as many activities as possible but be sure that you pass your exams too. Try to rotate or join different clubs and see how they work and how you work with different people. As you go along, you will definitely develop yourself with skills and by then, discover what you love doing.
Most of the skills that I have today came from activities that I joined outside classes and I find them very useful. The more things you join and experience in life, the more stories you will have to talk about especially during your interview. You are competing with someone for the same position and you wouldn’t want to talk about how many A’s you got during high school. I believe your employers would strike you off from the list immediately. Impress them by telling them what you did and I believe they would love to hear what you have to say.
Read again and think about it.
Now it is 2:18 AM and it’s time for me to go to bed, we’ll talk again soon!
Savier is a Chemical Engineering student in Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. He was a member of the Student Council in 2013 and also the one and only student representative in the Swinburne University Council 2013-2014. He is an animal lover and whenever he is free, he volunteers with the SSPCA in their adoption event, helping stray animals find new homes. He is friendly, loves talking, and exchanging ideas and experiences with people. He is a food hunter and usually goes around exploring delicious food. He is a university advocate at The Pencil Box (www.jclathepencilbox.org), a site that helps students accelerate their learning curve in university by publishing articles on self-development, leadership and creative learning. Liked this post? Subscribe now to read more post like this one! Tweet