Tips For Life: Why Good Grades In School Aren't Important

Bad grades? Don't fret; your life is not over. You don't have to be a success in school to be a success in life.

Lets face it; good grades can be a plus. For one thing, students with good grades get a lot of recognition. It boosts one's self esteem to know that one is performing well. The kids who get good grades have better chances at getting scholarships. The better your grades are, the better your odds of getting into a good college. A degree from a good college is supposed to open the door for better career opportunities.

But what about the rest of us? What does it say about us if our grades are average at best, possibly worse? How are we going to get by without as many doors of opportunity open to us? Are we doomed to a life of mediocrity? Do school failures mean we are going to be life failures?

Before we worry about that, let's try to put grades in perspective. Grades are arbitrary units of measurement created to assess a student's progress, and to compare students across the board.While grades can be a good indication of how a student is progressing in different subject areas in school, they are not without their flaws. For example, an intelligent student who has poor attendance and who fails to hand in assignments can end up with a lower grade. The grades of someone who grasps concepts but freezes and blanks out during tests may not accurately reflect the student's ability. On the other hand, some students who are able to rely on rote memorization of material and good test taking skills may get good grades, but may not truly grasp, analyze or be able to transfer the knowledge to other areas. In other words, grades are not necessarily the ultimate statement about a person's intelligence, ability or potential.

So, does a person who didn't get good grades have anything to worry about? Not necessarily. A person who graduates high school or college with a C- average still gets the same diploma handed to the people graduating with an A+ average.

Okay, so people who got the good grades are more likely to get into the better colleges and universities and snap up all the scholarships. Just because you were not an outstanding high school student doesn't mean that you won't do well in college, if that is the route you want to take. As long as you have that diploma or GED, you can always get into a community college to find out if higher education is for you. If you can't qualify for a scholarship at first, financial aid is available to most people in the form of grants, student loans or work-study programs. If your grades improve, you can transfer to a four-year school. If not, as long as you are able to maintain passing grades (even by the skin of your teeth) you can still get that associates degree, which will be as good as the degree issued to those at the top of your class.

Another route you may want to consider is going to a good trade school. Get your diploma or GED, then figure out what you like to do and what you are good at, and pursue a good trade school for certification. There are a number of options for certified trades that have little or nothing to do with your former GPA in school: Computers, mechanics, information technology, culinary, travel and tourism, real estate, medical transcriptions, emergency medical technicians, day care, dental hygiene, fashion design, interior design, just to name a few. If you find something that you like and for which you have a knack, getting certified can start you on the road to a fulfilling, lucrative career, despite any poor grades you may have gotten in high school or college.

For those who have decided that furthering their education is not for them, and are considering entering the work force, entry level positions open to high school graduates do not usually require proof of good grades. How well you perform on the job will be more important than your past school grades.

Bad grades are not something that will stand in your way all of your life. There are a few things you need to do to make sure you find success, despite difficulty in school.

First, make sure your reading, writing, and basic math skills are adequate. If you can read a newspaper or a book, if you can write coherent sentences and paragraphs, and know enough math to figure out simple computations (adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, some measuring and simple fractions), you can get by. If you have problems in any of those areas, get a tutor, take a distance learning course, or even get a friend to help you out.

Second, figure out what you enjoy, and what you are good at. Then, look into all of your options on turning your interests and talents into a career. Take aptitude tests and look into anything that might work for you. Be willing to consider furthering your education in college or trade schools, or to start out in entry-level positions and work your way up.

Third, be a hard worker. Future employers will judge you more on your job history record than on your high school grades. Be punctual, respect company policies, and do any job given to you to the best of your ability.

Fourth and finally, put your past behind you. So you didn't get a great start out of the gate; school didn't work well for you, for whatever reason. Live for your future, and prove yourself in what you are doing now.

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