I have heard numerous people tell me that your GPA doesn’t matter when you step out into the real world. I have to agree that there is some truth to that. No one actually asks you about your GPA in interviews (at least no one has asked me so far in my life) and I certainly don’t put my GPA on my resume. So going into my first year I was definitely one of those people who thought that my GPA was just not that important. I had the mindset that I was in university just for the experience and to get my degree. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I still cringe when I think about my first year GPA that has haunted me throughout the rest of my education. The truth is no one really knows what will happen in the future so saying that your GPA doesn’t matter might not be the smartest move. Before this year, I never considered going to grad school. But my path has changed and I will be starting my Masters in Communications this September and I regret not working as hard as I could have throughout my undergrad. Don’t make the same mistake as me thinking that your GPA won’t matter in the long run. Here are four more things you should consider before putting your GPA on the backburner.
- You might change your mind about what you want to do after graduation
Going into your undergrad you might think that you can only take four more years of school and grad school is not something that you would even remotely consider. However, things change. You don’t want to ruin your chances of getting into your dream school by slacking off during your undergrad. Also, if you decide that you would want to do a semester abroad some partner schools look specifically at your GPA. So not focusing on your GPA in the first year might ruin your chances of getting the best possible experiences out of university.
- Discipline is good in everything
It’s tempting to slack off during school and blame it all on your social life, school clubs and organizations, and your multiple part-time jobs. However, once you start to slack off during the first year it will be very difficult to get the hang of things if you do decide to raise your GPA afterward. It’s better to keep your GPA up from the start rather than scrambling in your last two years. I know some people who had to take an additional year (or two) to boost their GPA because they decided to continue their studies. They were definitely not happy with the wasted time and money that they had to put into that extra time.
- Try applying for those scholarships
I’m not saying that you should strive to get a 4.0 in every one of your courses, but having a good overall GPA will also make you stand out when you apply for all the different scholarships. Even if you think you might not get any scholarships, you should still apply. Even if it’s a small amount, it’s still better than nothing. I wish someone would have told me to literally research every single scholarship my school offered and apply because you never know which ones you are going to get, they might add up to a nice sum of money that you can use to treat yourself.
- You can impress your professors
If you really need a credible reference letter and your only summer job was babysitting the neighbor’s dog it might be a wise idea to ask for a reference letter from one of your professors. I mean if you put in enough hours into the course and go to office hours, you and your prof might become great buds. On the other hand, if you slack off and don’t go to half of the lectures getting a great reference from your professor might be an impossible mission.
As you go through your undergrad you will realize what is important in life and what is not. I definitely don’t want to say that your GPA should be the only thing that matters. I just wanted to remind everyone that things in life are sometimes very difficult to predict. So I don’t want others to be making the same mistake as me by thinking that your GPA is just a number and that it won’t matter in the real world because everyone has a different path that they have to find themselves.
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