Sanity and Cs

I have a confession: I was a good test taker and a terrible student. As late as my second year of college, I would cut class if the weather pleased me and I’d go read something (or do something) that mattered to me.

I made a few Cs as a result.

But I also managed to retain sanity throughout the most stressful moments of my education. I focused on the classes that interested me most, figured out how to make grades I could live with in the others, and proceeded from there. Part of me does not want my students to follow such a pattern. Part of me does, and here’s why: instead of knowing what interests them, I see way too many students fool themselves into believing that making As is what interests them. An A can be a wonderful achievement. However, it seems a hollow one when it isn’t tethered to a larger goal.

Be deliberate. “Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.” “Be bold, but not too bold.” Be more than your grades and your standardized test scores.

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10 Responses to Sanity and Cs

  1. Khytavia Fleming says:

    Before coming to MSMS, making all A’s was a small goal that lead to a bigger goal, attending MSMS. Being that I am not as athletic as some of my peers are, all I had to rely on was my smarts. I had to work for every A I earned although most of the times there was really no hard work involved to make those A’s. However, after coming to MSMS and applying for college and scholarships, I have realized that one’s academics is only a portion of what people look at when judging one’s character and if one would be a perfect fit. Like a wise woman told me, academics is not everything.

  2. JoJo Kaler says:

    For high school students, our goal is to get to college. We have been preached for all of our lives that every grade matters to colleges. This means that our focus is making sure that every single grade in powerschool has a 9 in front of it. At our previous schools, this accomplishment was not only plausible but came easy to many of us. Here, it is far more difficult. This leads to a loss of sleep and/or a loss of sanity, likely both. As the younger sibling of two college goers, they have also relinquished a dedication to all A’s. MSMS students, however, do not have the same luxury. My goal is to go to college for free which means it is equally as important for me to get an A in my University English class, as it is my introduction to game design class. We are so focused on getting straight A’s that we sacrifice actually learning the material or our sanity. It is extremely difficult to understand 8 courses worth of college material and still have enough time to hang out with friends, play video games, or sleep. What’s the solution? Maybe there is none.

  3. Whitney Fairley says:

    I’m not going to lie, sometimes when I am stressed out and I am given the ultimatum of putting more effort into my schoolwork, or getting more sleep/ rest, I choose the sleep/rest. Let’s be real, it’s all a matter of priorities. There are some students at MSMS that sacrifice sleep and a healthy social life to have top notch grades. Although I admire these people for their dedication, I could never be one of these people. I used to think that if I didn’t have a perfect GPA and make straight As, that I was setting myself up for failure. My mom and I were having a discussion about my grades and an elderly woman overheard us in a grocery store. She looked at me and said, ” Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. ” I told her that I wanted to be a doctor and that if I wanted get into a good college and pass the MCAT I would have to be a top student. She then asked me a question. What do they call a doctor that made Cs throughout med-school? I was puzzled by this question and couldn’t come up with an answer. Finally, she looked at me, smiled, and said,” A doctor!” This is probably one of the most true things I’ve heard in my entire life. The moral of the story is, it is important to find that balance between studying hard and taking care of mental health/social life.

  4. Ezra McWilliams says:

    Throughout my time in school, I have been encouraged by my teachers to do your best on the MCT2 and AR test, and study this and that, but it was never about your dreams and goals. The only thing that was in the ballpark was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While I agree having 4.0 GPA along with a 36 on the ACT and national merit are invaluable to having best education at your destined institution, it does not define you as a person, rather it is a record of your intelligence.

    I feel that teachers should strive more than high expectations and great consistent academic performances from their pupils. They should teach them about what life has to offer and how to work hard and smart for yourself.

  5. X says:

    I do agree that grades and standardized test scores define our intelligence in current day society. Our parents ingrained the need to make perfect grades in order to succeed in life. I feel like their goal is very understandable, to want us to achieve the most we can, and the only way to do so is to study hard and prove it through getting As and 30+s. The system we have is difficult to change; how else do we push ourselves to learn other than giving us tests that determine our acceptances into college?

  6. Samantha B. says:

    I’m not gonna lie, I have always grown up hearing my parents tell me that if I didn’t make A’s then they would not be proud of me. As a result, I would make myself so miserable in school just to make them happy. I would let my grades in the things I did like doing in favor of struggling through things that I found uninteresting or more difficult. Personally, I think that we should stress doing well in the things we like, not just everything. After coming to MSMS I had to learn that it’s okay not to make straight A’s, even though the little voice in the back of my head still likes to tell me otherwise. It’s important to do well in what you love, and if you don’t get the best grades, that’s okay. If you learned something I think that should be all that matters. Schools should put more emphasis on learning instead of trying to make the best grades and be the best student, because grades aren’t for everybody, but learning should be.

  7. Ashley Nguyen says:

    I personally feels that we are conditioned to make “good” grades in school, and if not, we are not enough. I cannot count how many times I have felt lesser because of the grades I have received; although I have learned a lot from the experience. My grades do not define me, but rather the knowledge I have retained during the process. I was raised to make A’s and nothing less, but my parents have began to join the journey that I am learning from. The idea of a “good” grades define you is over, and it time to see through it. Being a good student is about the how much you have learned and your willingness to do so.

  8. Erin says:

    Going through my school system at school, teachers really encouraged students to make the best grade possible at all times, regardless of the sacrifice. I think an important lesson that should be taught to students before college is what you said. People are more important than their test scores and grades. Students should always work hard to do their best but they have to realize that their best is not the same as their friend’s best. My mom always tells me that the people with a couple of C’s get diplomas and degrees just like the people with all A’s.

  9. David Johnson says:

    The desire to achieve the best grade in the classroom is an issue that many students have to deal with. There are two extremes to this issue.

    There is a lack in the desire to learn and instead to achieve the best grades, which in turn leads to more issues later in a students career. The lack of a desire to learn, a desire to strive to be the best compared to everyone else, rather than striving for YOUR best. This is the issue in the current mindset that most students hold true to.

    Then you have the other extreme, the one where a student will push themselves as hard as possible. Little sleep, caffeine, and never stopping. Always striving to be your best, but then trying to be better than you can be.

    There must be a balance between pushing yourself for every moment of your educational career and you having little care about your education as long as your grade has an A beside it.

  10. Geneva Hamilton says:

    This is an important message that many of us did not grow up hearing, and honestly, it made the classroom a stressful environment. School was not about the beauty of learning, but more like a race to an A. Every test was a contest. Who made the highest grade? Who could do it in the least amount of time? Now, I realize being a good student is more than just grades. Its a desire to learn.

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