Numbers Don’t Matter: It is Time to Stop Comparing Yourself Academically

Valentina Arias, Multimedia Photo Editor

The anxiety that fills any student’s body when they are about to check their grade book is seemingly normal nowadays. Students begin to believe that they are not smart enough compared to the rest of their classmates, so they start to believe they are less of a person. The truth is: that is completely false. A person is defined by their character, but society and the current school system have led students to believe that everyone should take an overwhelming amount of Advanced Placement classes, and if they do not get constant A’s it means they are worthless.

Everyone wants to have a 4.0 unweighted and 6.0 weighted GPA, but that is simply impossible for everyone to do. Not every student can get these kinds of scores, and that is totally okay. No one should think any less of themselves. People should strive for good grades, but not getting an honor roll report card every semester is perfectly fine.

Every hardworking student should be proud of their grades. If one puts in the effort by studying all night for an upcoming test and doing all their homework and they get a B in the class, they should still feel content with the score they got. Although they did not reach the highest grade in the class, at least they know they put in maximum effort to get their grade and pass.

In high schools across the nation, valedictorians — the person with the highest grade — is selected. The fight for this role increases stress and anxiety for students who strive to be “perfect.” At Miami Palmetto Senior High School, there is no defined valedictorian, but there are class rankings. As a senior, I realized how much these scores scare and fill them with stress. Some even waited until the last minute to find out because they were frightened by the idea of not being in the top percentile. This should not be what grades do to people. They should not leave people this stressed.

Grades should not make people feel insecure and anxious because we are all made up of different, important components that make us who we are. The number that one sees is truly just another number; it should not be so significantly scary in an adolescent’s life.