Fearing grades is un-B-elievable


Illustration by Maricruz Reyes

Story by Joseph Kamandy, Multimedia Editor

Do you fear grades lower than an A?

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Students set many priorities for themselves during their school years; one, in particular, is an educational success. Their grades allow them to determine whether or not they are on track with maintaining and reaching their ambition of that success. Because of this, students tend to strive for A’s, as it “proves” their excellence, unaware that B’s are also above the average standards.

  “I think students are afraid of receiving a B instead of an A because their parents push them to have a high GPA. Also, a lot of students are bent on getting good grades for college, trying to give their applications a more appealing look. I, too, am a little cautious, because I do not want to disappoint my parents,” Lerome Johnson (11) said.

  This “epidemic” of loathing B’s causes many students to become mentally unstable. According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, 62 percent of students have reported having anxiety. This coincides with the pressures they are constantly facing inside and outside of school due to workload, time, and, of course, grades. As soon as even one B appears on students’ grade book, they may feel as though they are inadequate. Therefore, they are constantly being “pressured” to obtain the best possible grades.

  “At times I feel afraid or disappointed if I get a B, but over time, I have learned it will get better as long as I study and put in the effort for the A,” Ashley Virabouth (11) said.

  Students need to be aware that a B does not at all represent insufficiency; although there may be a slight room for improvement, understanding one’s mistakes is the first step in reaching for success. It falls into an awkward spot—it is not necessarily the mastery of a craft, yet it still surpasses the knowledge and understanding of one needs. Being too caught up with reaching every expectation causes students to undergo even more stress than they are already.

  “I think there is something wrong with the narrative that [students] feel they have to live up to. They think they need to have a student job, a volunteer job, and good grades. According to several studies, students point to their own expectations as the largest stress factor,” said Lea Friedberg, Chairman of DM—Danish Association of Masters—Students.

  Although students do struggle at times with maintaining an A, the idea that they need to retain it shouldn’t be taken so harshly. In today’s society, schools and colleges give off the sense that students are required to score the highest, but as long as their attempts are built from perseverance and hard work, any grade should act as an optimal achievement.