05 Jan 2019 - Vivian HirNote: This post was written when winter finals happened. Still, it is worth the read!
Like most students during finals week, I was obsessively calculating what I needed to get on my final to maintain or boost my grade. After reading a few blogs by Cal Newport about GPA, I realized how my attitude towards school was more extrinsic than intrinsic. After reading his post about how unconventional straight A students ignore their GPA, I was surprised how I never thought my attitude was an actual concern. His blog mentions how when students care too much about their GPA, not only does it put a lot of stress on the student, it also ignores more important goals a student should be focused on. What I got the most out of the blog post was how my ultimate goal as a student wasn't really the numbers; rather, it is to focus more on the learning journey. In other words, school is a learning process that is a cycle by learning our past failures and thinking how to improve in the future. It is training ourselves to be stronger and more resilient (in my respectful opinion). When we only care about our GPA, everything we do is only for bragging rights or to make our parents happy. This doesn't make us happier as a person.
I am not saying that we should completely ignore our GPA especially because we are surrounded by competitive classmates. I have to admit, I will still care about my GPA a lot. Instead, our main motivation to do well in school should also have some intrinsic factors because in the end, it is intrinsic motivation that wins. So next time when spring finals come around, stop calculating what you need on the final. Treat it like an opportunity and try your best.Vivian Hir is a high school student who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her blogs can be found here. Constructive feedback is appreciated.