The Green & White

The Student News Site of Westlake High School

The Student News Site of Westlake High School

The Green & White

The Student News Site of Westlake High School

The Green & White

Grades Don’t Matter


I just got my first B since fourth grade. The thought of it appearing on my report card makes me cringe. Every time I think about it, I fall into a spiral of self-loathing, telling myself, “How could you be so stupid?”, “You’re better than this.”, “All your teachers probably think you’re so dumb”. After these thoughts, I get mad at myself for thinking them. After all, why does a letter on a screen hold so much value to me?

No, my parents don’t care. In fact my mom has told me time and time again to not be so hard on myself, to take a lighter class load and that as long as I’m trying she’s not worried about me. But I usually tune this out. I still insist I wouldn’t be caught dead taking a non-honors class or getting a B on a report card. 

I attribute this grade obsession in part to my personality. I’m a major control freak and a major worrier. If I feel out of control of my grade I’ll panic and start to worry that maybe I’ll never go to college, and maybe I’ll never get a job and maybe my family will have to starve. It sounds stupid but my grade in a single high school class will make me contemplate my whole future.

But I can’t completely blame myself for the obsession. Lots of my peers feel the same way.

Growing up in a district like Westlake was a blessing and a curse. Receiving a top notch education is never something I’ve taken for granted, but the pressure put on students in the district from a young age is astronomical. The “Wings Program” in elementary school was the beginning of it all. High achieving kids were taken out of class to go learn separately. I strived to be a part of it. These kids were obviously better than me. Why wasn’t I included? 

The same kids would take a bus daily to go learn math at the intermediate school and by sixth grade they were taking high school level math. No one was ever average, and the pressure to be over-achieving continued to grow.

Holding a 4.9 GPA and not even being top 20 in my class is a hard blow. These kids are so much smarter than me and I have no shot at competing. But as maintaining straight A’s has been harder and harder to do, I’ve thought about how little value grades really hold.

If one B goes on my transcript, it really is not the end of the world. My parents were both pretty average students and they’re doing just fine. And no matter how bad it stings, I will survive a B and I will still go to college and it won’t ruin my entire life.

So now I sit here with a B+ on my report card, the first time that letter has appeared in seven years. But somehow I’m learning to accept it. It’s not the end of the world, and it really does not matter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Green & White Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *