Let’s take a look at my younger self:
I was taking several difficult courses at my school and would stress out about my advanced physics course nearly every night. I was constantly down about my academic performance - bringing my productivity to an all time low.
But now I ask myself, how has getting that grade helped me?
All I’ve gained from those countless hours of studying is a few digits added to my GPA. And if that’s something you’re fixated on, I urge you to stop for a second. Because, you might be caught in a ubiquitous trap without even realizing it. It’s the mentality that I myself was caught in:
Good grades > good college > god job = happiness and success
But that logic simply isn’t true anymore.
Think for a second, what does longterm success and happiness look like to you? Is it blending into the workforce with a 9/5 job? Alright. But have you also ever wanted financial freedom? Creativity? And the chance to execute ideas you’re passionate about? If you’re like most people, you’ve likely wanted at least one of those things at some point.
So take a second to picture what you want your future self to be. If a clear career doesn’t come to mind, then consider loose attributes in your future life. I personally want to be an entrepreneur and writer. And some more abstract characteristics I aspire towards are financial freedom, the opportunity to travel and to live a creative lifestyle.
How closely do you resemble the person you’re imagining right now?
Now think, will spending most of your time chasing grades get you any closer to becoming that person?
The answer is most likely no.
To be honest, my grades have never fell below a certain standard. But the key is to set that standard. Because if you don’t, you may find yourself working obsessively to achieve a goal, while losing sight of the things that will actually lead you to building the life you want to lead.
So the point I want to drive home certainly isn’t to slack off in school or to ignore the opportunities at hand. My point is to never lose sight of your real goals, the actions that, day by day, will lead you to becoming the person you envisioned earlier.
Making real projects, practicing real skills, and doing real things is what will bring you to true success - not this lie we’ve been sold in school: that a column of letters on a one day forgotten transcript will help guarantee success in life.
If you start a project you’re passionate about and consistently work to develop it, who knows where it could be five or ten years from now.
While you’re in school, the world is your oyster. Think about it; you don’t have a family or major responsibilities - you basically have nothing to lose. But what do you have, is an incredibly valuable asset that you can never get back: time.