Are Straight A’s Always a good thing?

Academic excellence and success are a lot of many students’ main priorities throughout their school life. Students sacrifice their free time, social life, and health to achieve all A’s in school. It has been seen that many students who graduate high school or college with a 4.0 GPA then go and fall into the system instead of pursuing their knowledge. Articles and researchers have found that those students are burnt out and exhausted from the pressure they or someone else put on them. Millions strive for academic perfection, which sometimes becomes too much for a student. It can be too much to keep up with the pressure, and students can tend to run out of energy when they enter the real working world.

Picture courtesy of Voices of Youth

Along with the sacrifices students make, they also miss out on high school events with friends, which is usually the most memorable part of high school for students. They miss out on dances, games, parties, and sleepovers with their friends. This short essay in the New York Times supports why straight a’s are not always the only sign of intelligence. In “What Straight-A Students Get Wrong,” Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, writes about the dangers of pursuing perfect grades:

“A decade ago, at the end of my first-semester teaching at Wharton, a student stopped by for office hours. He sat down and burst into tears. My mind started cycling through a list of events that could make a college junior cry: His girlfriend had dumped him; he had been accused of plagiarism. “I just got my first A-minus,” he said, his voice shaking.

Year after year, I watch in dismay as students obsess over getting straight A’s. Some sacrifice their health; a few have even tried to sue their school after falling short. All have joined the cult of perfectionism out of a conviction that top marks are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers.

I was one of them. I started college with the goal of graduating with a 4.0. It would be a reflection of my brainpower and willpower, revealing that I had the right stuff to succeed. But I was wrong”.