It's Okay To Bomb Your Finals: Why Good Grades Don't Matter In Real Life

by Lauren Martin

Take a deep breath. Forget about the books and the scantrons for as long as you can and focus on these words. Forget about the finals you may have bombed and the curves you didn't get.

Ignore that aching pit in your stomach because you know you'll never get the grade you need, even if you study all night.

Stop worrying about your GPA and your weighted average, because as much as you think your world depends on these things, it doesn't.

Now, I'm not telling you that it's okay to ignore all your responsibilities, party instead of study and completely disrespect everything your parents worked for to get you this education, but I do know that sometimes we just drop the ball.

Sometimes college gets the best of us and we just f*ck up. So this is for anyone who just couldn't get it together this semester or just didn't have a good day.

Because bad days happen in life and unfortunately for all those kids who got straight A's all the way through, how well you take a test is not indicative of how well you will thrive in the real world.

Bad grades, failed exams and tainted records do not define you after these campus years. Your grades do not translate in the real world and your worth is not dependent on a number.

“You can get all A’s and still flunk life.” - Walker Percy

To prove this point, think about how important your SAT scores are to you now. When was the last time you needed to use your SAT score to get something? Now remember how much they mattered to you at one point.

Remember how many months you spent studying and agonizing over a four-digit number that you thought would determine your entire future.

Well, that's pretty much how your GPA becomes in the real world. We think these grades are our livelihood, but once we got to the next part of our life, they became irrelevant and forgotten.

Your GPA may help you get that first job, the way your SAT score helped you get into your first or second choice school, but like your score, it becomes unimportant after you leave that chapter of your life.

However, many times GPAs aren't even a factor when applying for that first job. Like the college essay, there are many other ways of getting work after college.

They take connections, interviews, good ideas and random networking. They hire off personality and experience over numbers and records.

So even if this final hurts your GPA or keeps you from getting the credits you need, it's something you can, and must, move on from.

Worst things will happen to you in life and this is just a minor bump on the long road ahead of you. The important part is that you learn from this failure and work harder to make up for it.

Now is when you let this failure become a necessary moment for your future success.

Because failure teaches us a lot more than what we learn from our textbooks. Failure has lessons of perseverance, determination and loss.

It's a hard lesson to take, but always worth the experience in the end. And I promise, once again, it's not the end of the world.

You Still Have Your Health

When everything is going horribly, just remember that you're alive and you're healthy. So what if you failed a paper, an exam, an entire course? You can walk, talk, hear, see and do just about anything you desire.

There are no limits to your capabilities and that's more than a lot of people have in this world. This tiny failure is nothing compared to the daily struggles of many others.

So every time you get upset about your bad grades, just remember that it could be so much worse.

They Don't Represent Real Life

Just because you failed on paper doesn't mean you're going to fail in life. This test is just a small ritual our society has decided to shower with importance, but it does not reflect your genius.

Many of the most important, brilliant and successful people in this world flunked out of school or showed little acceleration in the classroom.

You can show your worth outside of these exams and testing halls. Get your A in life rather than in the classroom.

There Will Be Others

Whether actual exams or real-life tests, this isn't the last test you are going to have. You will have multiple chances to make it up in school and then out there in the real world. (There's also compassion, something you can beg your professor for to find out if there is anything you can do to make up the points.)

Yes, your GPA may be affected, but that just means you have to work to get perfect scores on your next exams.

Maybe even do those weekly extra credit papers you never took the effort to complete. There's always a second chance, you just have to know where to look for it.

There's All Those Things You Didn't Fail

Why is it we can only remember the bad, the ugly and the horrible things that happen to us? What about all those times when we succeeded, when we flourished? What about when you passed your driving test or got that perfect score on the math portion of the SAT?

How about when you won that essay contest or got first place in district playoffs? Your life is defined by so many other moments and this one small failure should not take all those away. There are so many worse things to fail in life and this is definitely not one of them.

This Won't Be Important In A Year

You are going to forget this final in a month, maybe less. There is no way you remember this tiny failure in the span of your entire college experience.

You will move on from this and forget it the way you do with all those things you don't want to remember. But not only will it be unimportant to you in a year from now, but it most definitely won't matter to anyone else.

So do yourself a favor and save yourself some time and get over it right now.

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