Why not getting an A isn’t the end of the world

Sydney Hopper, Senior Writer

It’s a fact well-known to anyone looking to attend college in their future: admission rates to colleges are dropping. Percentages of admitted students seem to get lower and lower every year; last year, the nation was led by Stanford University, which let in only five percent of their applicant pool.  In such competitive process, we’ve been taught that there are certain goals that are vital to getting in to a good school—a high GPA and test scores among those things.

So it might seem counter-intuitive when I say that, a year after it occurred, I am still thankful for the death of my 4.0.

Ever since I received my first report card in sixth grade (my elementary school didn’t give out grades of any sort), I had viewed the ownership of a 4.0 as the golden standard to meet–anything less than an A by the end of the semester was unacceptable. And for most of high school, I met my standard.

Then came junior year. More specifically, then came Honors Physics.

I knew going into the class that it would be a challenge—I’ve always been more of an English student—but I decided to take the leap.

I didn’t survive the jump unscathed—my GPA was bruised, no longer the spotless example it once was. But in losing my 4.0, I realized something: school isn’t about being perfect.

It’s okay to struggle—a lesson I’m sure to need in the future when I’m attempting to navigate the mysteries of college, and life beyond that. The fact is, it’s more important to challenge oneself, and if you make mistakes, to learn from those experiences.

So, if you’ve managed to keep up your grades, pat yourself on the back. And if you’re struggling, look at those less-than-perfect letters as an opportunity to learn and grow. Teachers who are tough graders might get a bad rap sometimes, but I’m thankful that I’ve gotten the chance to be in their classrooms—I know now that not achieving perfection has a silver-lining.