Grades do not determine students’ worth

“I can’t believe I just failed that exam.”

Students stress over their grades and GPA because, to a certain extent, their GPA determines their future.

Sometimes, a single bad grade can be a huge determining factor for an overall grade in a class or even their GPA for an entire semester.

If students fail to reach a certain GPA requirement, they could lose their scholarships, and sometimes, confidence in themselves.

While students work hard for their grades, every student performs differently under pressure.

There are many factors that account for the way a student performs during an exam.

Positive emotions can help a student by decreasing distractions on an exam, while negative emotions that accompany test anxiety can hinder a student’s performance, according to the Journal of Contemporary Educational Psychology.

However, students should not allow a single assignment grade to define them. GPAs and grades sometimes cannot capture what a student truly learns about themselves or about life during their college years.

About 40 percent of a student’s exam performance is due to factors beyond their control, according to the Journal of Research in Personality. The remaining 60 percent stems from their work ethic, attendance, goals and study habits.

These study habits can affect freshmen as they adapt to the collegiate level of academics. When the student comes to college, especially when they uproot from their familiar surroundings to attend a university in a different city, the transition can be difficult.

Many times, freshmen fall victim to the idea that college will be similar to high school, and they can deploy their old study habits in their new environment. Upperclassmen, however, fall victim to a hectic work and extracurricular schedule, as well as increased difficulty in their course load.

This stress can affect a number of aspects, including grades. But that does not mean they are a bad student.

Stress associated with a student’s social, emotional and family life may impact academic performance and ability to learn, according to the Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing.

Excessive stress can cause mental and physical problems, as well as decrease the student’s sense of self-worth.

Even with all-nighters, weeks of preparation in studying and unwavering dedication to the assignment, the grade can sometimes still be short of the student’s expectations.

Since midterms are over, it is time to focus on the remainder of the semester.

Continue to work hard, and do not allow grades define what matters most. Stay positive, and know that purpose and direction are not solely dependent on the numbers on a transcript.