Not Living by the Grade

Last May I graduated college. Now, mid-October, hundreds of posts are flooding the social media feeds begrudging midterm exams, expressing worn emotions after all-nighter studying sessions, and anticipating that letter grade at the end of it all.

I was out of it all a year early. Three years was enough for me. I rushed through that sucker like a horse with a sugar cube. Parts of me wish I could still be there, but none of those parts want to be back for the education.

I want to be back for my fraternity and friends. I miss the amazing food from the city and going to concerts all the time. That being said I don’t miss the constant construction, crime, and feeling of fear from the city. Knowing I don’t want to be there for school, I know I made the right decision. I don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get little sleep and go out with friends.

What I hadn’t noticed until college students started posting about midterms was that I’m not living in anticipation of having a random person value me with a number or letter anymore. Suddenly, I’m having to determine for myself whether I’m doing well or not in everything that I do and I certainly don’t do that by giving myself an A or B.

I wonder for all of those people studying science and mathematics when they graduate, will they still be graded by someone higher up in the profession or will they have to, like the rest of us, have to know when their work is deemed worthy for the field or even their own standards? There are still employee reviews and constant revisions of professional papers, but will a grade still exist for most people?

All I can say is the relief is amazing to not be under a scale of 0-100. All I ever wanted in school was to try my hardest and when that wasn’t enough for my professor it stung. Everyone is judged as though they don’t want to be there, like being sick is used enough as an excuse that as adults we need a doctor’s note, that we will do anything to not have to do the work.

Well, for everyone out there in school that’s like me, that wouldn’t lie to get out of class and just wants to work their hardest, know that eventually, the grading ends. Remember that. Good luck with your exams and continue to strive for that A or being in the higher percentile. You will be proud of that. Just know that once you have that degree you won’t be living by the grade anymore.

Best of Luck,

Em

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