What Nora knows…about grades


Nora Verdier

Nora shares her wisdom in her monthly column “What Nora knows.”

Nora Verdier, Multimedia Manager

With exams just around the corner, now is not only a time for studying but a time for reminding ourselves that our grades – although important – are not everything.

There is certainly a lot of energy that goes into our grades at EGRHS. It is instilled within our culture that an A means success and anything lower than a C equates defeat. When we receive an A on a test or quiz, we immediately feel relieved – and this is because it gives us a sense of security. If we get an A, we must be doing something right.

However, there is a flipside to that – a flip side we are all too familiar with. I have not met anyone who has never received at least a C or D on an assignment at least once in their high school careers. We all get them, and we all hate them. Because anything lower than a C puts a negative label on our school work that we naturally take personally. As a real-life example, if I receive a C on a test in my AP U.S. History class, then automatically, I am not a good APUSH student – or, as my mind subconsciously inculcates, a good student in general.

We seem to attach our self-worth to our grades – and this, as I can speak from personal experience, is psychologically exhausting. It is undoubtedly difficult to disentangle our GPAs from how we value ourselves because we somehow let our grades define us.

I have been trying to remind myself that just because I get a bad grade does not mean I’m a bad student. Perhaps instead of agonizing over my C in APUSH, I must remind myself that it is a hard class and that I am most likely not the only one feeling the same bleakness over my grade.

We all know the cliché that if you try your best, that’s all that matters. Sometimes, we have off days. Sometimes, we’re just too busy to study that extra hour. And so sometimes, a bad grade is okay. Because in the grand scheme of things, that one grade in that one class is not going to matter.

So, before you check your report card, remind yourself that you are not your grades. That one grade is not going to ruin your chances of getting into that one college. If anything, receiving an A is not going to benefit you the most; it’s going to be receiving that one bad grade when you are forced to take a breath, accept it, and move on.