As humans, we always attempt to stretch ourselves as far as we can go – often right to our breaking point – without realising that it’s unhealthy and, most importantly, it’s unnecessary. We want to achieve high marks because it feels great. We want to still go out with our friends, devote time to a hobby, watch TV shows, work so we can afford to live our lives, and maintain our university grades, all at once. I’m definitely someone who constantly battles with this conundrum of wanting to succeed in every aspect of my life; but what I’ve learned is that lowering my personal expectations leads to a healthier and happier existence.
Have you ever submitted an assignment that you couldn’t spend as much time on as you would have liked and then received a mark you feel disappointed with? That’s an example of where you have to think about what is realistically achievable. If you want to enjoy all the things life has to offer while studying, chances are, your grades from assessment to assessment may take a hit (in other words, maybe you won’t get straight 7s). Grades are something to use as feedback where applicable, but don’t get hung up on it. What’s important is acknowledging what your priorities have been, learning to accept your reality, live with the results, and take these learnings with you when you start your next piece of assessment
I’m not saying you can use watching Netflix all night as an excuse not to work hard on your assignments and then let yourself off the hook when you don’t get a good mark. But, if you’re applying yourself to do the best you can within your life’s constraints, then that’s all you can do. It’s not all about getting that GPA of 7 – it can be about just passing that subject during a hectic semester and time in your life. And accepting that’s enough.
As we’re seeing in the employment industry, GPAs are only one of around five equally-weighted factors that are assessed for future employment (Holland, 2018). What I want you to take away from this blog is the realisation that while you’re studying, you’re most likely trying to hold the weight of the world on your shoulders
. If you don’t receive the grade you wanted, don’t be too hard on yourself, because a mark on paper does not reflect your worth as a person, your life situation or your intelligence.