By now, you’ve probably heard that grades and extracurricular activities are important from just about every adult in your life. However, you may have times when you think to yourself, do they really matter, and if so, why? The short answer is yes, both are important. Let’s dig into the reasons why they are essential,
First let me clarify that when I say that grades matter, this does not mean that everyone can (or needs to) get straight A’s. More important than the specific grades you receive is the effort you put in to your school work and learning to recognize when you need to ask for help. Doing your best can take you a long way!
For most careers, especially careers with advanced knowledge or technical skills, a college degree is helpful, if not required. In order to get into college, it is in your best interest to earn good grades in challenging classes. More selective schools/degree programs will have higher standards for grades and test scores, so if you are wanting to be a doctor or an engineer, for example, it is especially important to put your best foot forward academically.
Not only will your grades help with college admissions, but they will also help you apply for scholarships. Many scholarships require at least a 2.0 GPA, with others available for a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Earning scholarships when you are in high school will allow you to save money on your education, and getting good grades can help you achieve that goal.
Lastly, grades matter because they are a representation of what you have learned. Even aside from college and scholarships, you will be a better person if you maintain a desire to learn throughout your life. There will come a point when you will no longer be graded for what you learn, but school helps you build a strong base of knowledge that you can build on in the future.
Just like with grades, the phrase “extracurriculars are important” does not mean “sign up for every extracurricular activity that exists.” It’s normal and healthy to pick a few activities that you are interested in and commit to them.
Extracurricular activities also help with the college admission and scholarship process in that they show committees that you are a well-rounded individual. Activities show qualities such as teamwork, philanthropy, integrity, perseverance, and more. All of these skills will help you in college and in life.
Finally, activities can give you the chance to excel and make friends outside of an academic environment. They generally have less structure and more fun than school does, and you can learn skills that you would not otherwise learn in the classroom. School can be stressful sometimes, and having activities that you enjoy can help you to de-stress.
Grades and extracurricular activities can help you reach your academic and career goals, but they can also help you grow as a person. Trust me, the time and effort is worth it!
By Allison Ourada