Grades don’t matter

Rachael Garner/File

Forget your readings, drop that problem set, leave tonight’s study session. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, your world is about to be turned upside-down. We at the Clog have some very exciting news: Grades do not matter. Contrary to what society and your parents have taught you to believe, the final grades on your CalCentral Academics page are shockingly irrelevant to the rest of your life.

It’s easy to blow the whole grades thing out of proportion when you’re in the thick of it. The night before a midterm it always feels as though our entire future depends on beating the class average. Cramming becomes the only option when faced with an impending doom that would make Superman himself quiver in his tights. We throw ourselves at our notes in preparation for exams with a fervor that should only be reserved for midnight Taco Bell runs, all before lulling ourselves to sleep praying for a merciful curve. 

We all but yank our hair out for the sake of a good grade. Quite frankly, it’s a little embarrassing how much we sacrifice for the sake of a single letter.  ‘A’ isn’t even the most special letter of the alphabet. Forget aiming for A’s, we’re going to shoot for W’s, X’s and Q’s. ‘W’ is the only nonmonosyllabic letter of the alphabet and ‘X’ is about as close to black magic as we can get. Don’t even get us started on the wonderment of the letter ‘Q’, and the 1-2 power play of ‘Q’ and ‘U’ that has us weak in the knees. 

Sure, your GPA may take a hit. A quick Google search will confirm your sneaking suspicion that W’s, X’s, and Q’s don’t actually translate well on the conventional GPA scale. Before you start to feel bad that your GPA will reflect the price of gas in the 1940’s, consider the big picture: A random decimal amount that is scandalously hidden on your CalCentral page does not define your worth. An insignificant GPA isn’t going to be engraved on anyone’s headstone. That’s partly because “Rest In Peace 3.52” is a pretty lame tagline and partly because grades don’t actually matter. So why are we pouring our blood, sweat and tears into this?

All of this effort is a waste of time. Our slaving away to get good grades is meaningless in the long game. You see, these grades only matter to us in the fleeting present. Thirty years from now, we’ll be too caught up in our “Eat, Pray, Love” midlife crisis scenes to feel badly for failing a statistics quiz. Fifty years down the line we’ll care less about how our research papers turned out and more about those reckless teens in our front yard. Seventy years from now, as we recline on our holographic death beds, we won’t remember what grade we got on that organic chemistry final. Truthfully, we’ll be lucky if we can even remember what organic chemistry is at that point.

Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].