Engineering students are often guilty of being grade-conscious more than any other discipline. It’s not our fault either. Our disciplines are very professional and require seriousness and hard work that are generally reflected in a person’s ability to take top grades. But, we all have come across those genius slackers who know a lot but don’t care enough about grades or anything much else. As you all graduate, in a few years time you realize that those C graders are actually doing much better in their careers. How is it that lack of hard work during the grueling years of college study doesn’t become an obstacle for them?
The simple reason for some of them to succeed is that aren’t afraid of trying something different just because their grades will be affected. Many of us have our university lives, and they pretty much take over everything else too. We can’t attend an event because of our grades, we can’t be active because of our grades and we can’t socialize because of our grades. All of this adds up to negative consequences for us when we go looking for a job or have to commercialize our projects. The successful C-grade students, on the other hand, are used to living their life on the edge and have the ability to make their personality and professional skills eclipse their mediocre grades. In today’s world, when companies and entrepreneurs need to be fearless and good with communication skills, this gives them the required edge needed to outsmart academically superior counterparts.
Many of the beloved presidents, billionaire CEOs and inventors have been dropouts or have lower average grades in college. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Holmes, all of these revolutionary CEOs and researchers have dropped out of university to pursue their goals. It shows that grades are less important than honing your skills and making a path of your own if the situation is favorable. But, studies are important and so are grades. If we want to succeed truly in our careers, we need a perfect combination of all qualities. Academia may take us up to a certain point but never remain in an illusion that the numbers alone will define you and get you your dream job or business.
We as students are also disillusioned by misconceptions that this student life is everything and to prosper later on, we need to sacrifice this time. Please don’t do that as these are your precious years of life. Study when you have to, but also explore the world, try to enjoy and communicate with people. These are prime years of our life and without the right exposure, we might face an uphill task later on. In the words of famous astrophysicist Neil deGrass Tyson,
“Your grades, whatever is your GPA, rapidly becomes irrelevant in your life. I cannot begin to impress upon you how irrelevant it becomes.
Because in life, they aren’t going to ask you your GPA.…If a GPA means anything, it’s what you were in that moment — and it so does not define you for the rest of your life.”
So, stop making a bunch of numbers and papers define you. You are a unique being, and you can do good in your own circle of life. So, never stop learning and experiencing as they are the most important things in life!